APEC Business Advisory Council | ABAC Philippines

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About ABAC
  • Mandate

    APEC Leaders, in 1995, established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) tasked to provide private sector perspective towards achieving free and open trade and investments in the Asia Pacific region (Bogor goals).

    The Council had its first meeting and dialogue with the Leaders in 1996, when the Philippines first chaired APEC. Ambassador Roberto Romulo of the Philippines served as ABAC’s founding chairman.

    Every year, ABAC submits a Report to APEC Leaders which outlines key recommendations focused on trade and investment in goods and services – removing barriers behind the border, at the border and across the border.

    ABAC writes to and engages with Ministers, especially those responsible for Trade, Finance, SME, Energy, Food Security, Health, and Women to address urgent challenges. The Council also participates in APEC committee meetings including sub-fora discussions, as well as initiatives of APEC economies.

  • Structure

    ABAC is composed of three executives per economy, appointed by the respective President or Prime Minister, and their designated alternates. The members meet four times a year, one every quarter, each running 3-4 days.

    ABAC discusses its priorities under five working groups: (1) Regional Economic Integration, (2) Finance and Economics, (3) MSME and Entrepreneurship, (4) Sustainable Development, and (5) Digital Innovation.

    As the voice of business in the region, ABAC provides advice to Leaders – recommending policy and regulatory reforms, as well as initiatives that would help achieve APEC Goals. This is essentially done at the ABAC Dialogue with Leaders which takes place during the Annual Economic Leaders Meeting.

    There is also a Dialogue with APEC Senior Officials during the first ABAC meeting of the year. ABAC reports to APEC officials every after ABAC meeting for updates and alignments.

  • Work Program

    ABAC theme for 2020 is “Integration, Innovation, and Inclusion,” with the following priorities:

    Integration
    • Accelerating trade and Investment Liberalization by enabling FTAAP.
     Strengthening APEC’s commitment to Rules-Based Multilateral Trading System.
     Promoting Trade and Services Competitiveness and Facilitation.

    Innovation
    Shaping a versatile and sustainable APEC Innovative Society through Digital Transformation, notably through Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption.
    Maximizing Human Capital Potential for the Digital Future.
    Advancing Digital Transformation, including the shift to a low-carbon economy.

    Inclusion
    Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth for MSMEs, Social Enterprise, Women, Youth and Underrepresented Groups via facilitating entry into global markets and new innovation in the Digital Era.
    Building Resilient and Sustainable communities by promoting Green Growth, addressing climate change, and strengthening Food and Energy Security.
    Driving a seamless and comprehensively connected Asia-Pacific balanced on physical connectivity, institutional connectivity and people-to-people connectivity.

  • Christine Violago

    Delegate, APEC VOF Singapore (2009) and Japan (2010); Educator, APEC VOF Peru (2016)

    “Our government leaders will come and go, and there will be new economic trends. But if we continue to invest on education and encourage the youth to be active participants in their communities, internationally or locally, then we can trust that the future of world will be bright indeed. “

  • Mark Lozano

    Delegate, APEC VOF Indonesia (2013); Delegate, APEC VOF China (2014)

    “Social prosperity comes from empowering people and businesses.”

  • Andre Flores

    Delegate, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “Sustainable development can be achieved when people and communities work together and chart tangible ways to ensure no one is left behind. Engaging the vigor and ideas of the youth is one of the key steps towards more inclusivity in global and local discussions on development.”

  • Katherine Khoo

    Delegate, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “Having the opportunity to interact with and listen to entrepreneurs, CEOs, heads of states, and other thought leaders widened my perspective about the world and eventually led me to the path of supporting impact entrepreneurs in my career. “

  • Paolo Monteiro

    Educator, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “Two big lessons: One, certainly the youth have an intrinsic and critical role to play in shaping the Asia Pacific, as they will most probably be its leaders in the foreseeable future. Second, complex global problems require global solutions. These global solutions can only be unearthed through close cooperation and deep partnerships, which can only be made possible by productive and constructive dialogue between peers. “

  • Lord Leomer Pomperada

    Delegate, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “Young people are already the leaders of today. They are spearheading various projects that contribute to positive change in their own societies.”

  • Dana Uson

    Delegate, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “The APEC VOF program provided an interesting view of the long process behind dialogue and multinational cooperation. The theme at that time was centered on supporting SMEs and building sustainable and resilient communities, and hearing first hand the accounts from representatives of other economies emphasized that solutions are never a one size fits all.”

  • John Kenneth Wu

    Delegate, APEC VOF Philippines (2015)

    “As I move forward to be a public servant, this experience reminds me to be a catalyst of change. I will continue to be a voice, not only in the past or the present, but more importantly in the future. We are the Voices of the Future!”

  • Randell Aranza

    Delegate, APEC VOF Peru (2016)

    “Having a dialogue in an environment conducive to different perspectives can lead to a breakthrough in understanding and commitments that transcend the needs of various economies. “

    The APEC Voices of the Future (VOF) is an annual program which brings together young people and educators from the 21 APEC Participating Economies to attend the APEC Summit.

    During the course of the program, the delegates will be able to learn and share their views on APEC issues concerning their future with APEC leaders, ministers, and business leaders. By working and learning together, the APEC VOF teams share their views on the APEC vision with APEC Leaders, Senior Officials, APAC Members and CEOs. Through their participation in the APEC process, APEC Voices delegates are given the rare opportunity to have important dialogues with top policymakers and business leaders to foster cooperation and prosperity in the classrooms and communities in the Asia-Pacific Region.

    The APEC VOF 2015 was held in Manila, Philippines, in conjunction with the APEC CEO Summit 2015. Around 120-150 delegates from the various member economies attended APEC Voices 2015.

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