The Third ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) 2019 Meeting was held in Hangzhou from July 22 to 25. Richard von Appen, Chairman of ABAC 2019, who is also the member of ABAC Chile presided the meeting, and more than 250 business representatives from 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region attended the meeting.
ABAC delegates discussed global and regional hot topics such as supporting the multilateral trading system, tackling climate change and developing the digital economy; they also made policy recommendations to APEC economic leaders on regional economic integration and trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region; contributing their wisdom and strength in promoting Asia-Pacific regional economic development.
During the meeting, sideline events such as Public-Private Dialogue on the APEC Services, Meeting of the Advisory Group on APEC Financial System Capacity Building, Informal Breakfast with APEC on the Post-2020 Vision for APEC, Online Dispute Resolution Session were also held. Representatives were organized to visit Huawei Company and Alibaba Company as well.
Representatives agreed that amid the uncertainties in the current global situation, first of all, we shall firmly oppose trade protectionism, support the multilateral trade system (with the WTO as its core), and carry out necessary reforms. Second, we shall improve the efficiency of energy use, develop new energy sources and actively deal with the negative impacts of climate change. Third, we need to foster regional exchanges and cooperation, formulate a suitable policy framework for the development of digital economy, enhance talents building, cultivate the labor force adapted to the new economic development, and further tap the growth potentials of digital economy.
Richard von Appen said, ABAC will call for leaders in the Asia-Pacific region that there is an urgent need to resolve the crisis of the WTO dispute resolution mechanism, especially to break the deadlock in the selection of members of the WTO Appellate Body as soon as possible. Rules need to be further modified to ensure that the multilateral trading system is compatible with the current development of international trade.
“Climate change is a major challenge of our time. ABAC will encourage and promote enterprises to make effects in developing innovative ideas on climate change, and supporting the transition towards a more sustainable, resilient and low-carbon economy. In addition, the Asia-Pacific region needs to attract talented people from all across the world to provide innovative products and services, as well as to establish a market-oriented and open regulatory environment,” added Richard.
ABAC is a permanent organization representing the business community under the APEC framework, the meeting of which was held every four years. Established in 1995, ABAC consists of 63 business VIPs from 21 different economies, each of which includes 3 VIPs. Since its establishment, ABAC has become an important platform for the Asia-Pacific business community to offer advice and suggestion to APEC business leaders. Much has been endorsed, such as APEC Business Travel Card and Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).