The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is an independent high-level group of business people who advise leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on priority issues for business in the region. NZIBF provides advice and support to New Zealand’s ABAC members and the Executive Director serves as Alternate Member.
ABAC was established by regional leaders in 1995 to provide business input into the APEC forum. ABAC is a strong advocate of sustained and inclusive economic growth. New Zealand will chair APEC in 2021, and New Zealand will also assume the chair of ABAC.
How ABAC Works
The Council meets four times a year to develop its report and recommendations which it submits to APEC Leaders at their annual Summit. ABAC New Zealand prepares a report on each meeting which can be seen here.
ABAC conducts its work through a series of Working Groups, addressing such issues as:
- reducing barriers to regional trade and investment, and deepening regional economic integration, including through trade agreements and the multilateral trading system;
- addressing non-tariff barriers;
- pursuing the development of the services sector;
- assisting small businesses in accessing technology, financing and training, and to participate more successfully in trade;
- fostering women’s economic empowerment;
- supporting the connectivity agenda;
- enhancing the opportunities arising from the digital economy, e-commerce and innovative business models;
- strengthening domestic financial markets;
- promoting greater transparency and best practice in corporate governance and good regulatory practice;
- achieving food security in the region, including through food trade; and
- improving energy security and accelerating green growth.
ABAC reports to and meets with APEC Leaders and ministers in an annual Dialogue. It uses the opportunity to deliver a strong and consistent message supporting the role of business in creating jobs, promoting greater prosperity and improving the lives of citizens and communities throughout the Asia-Pacific. A high proportion of its recommendations are accepted by Leaders and APEC governments.
ABAC’s latest Annual Letter and Report to Leaders can be found here.
ABAC brings together up to three senior business executives from each of APEC’s 21 member economies in Asia, North and South America, and Oceania. Members represent a range of sectors and small and medium enterprises as well as large business. ABAC members are appointed by heads of government and report directly to them. See New Zealand’s ABAC team here.