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2016 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) report to the APEC Leaders is released 30 September 2016

The report emphasized a need for economic growth to be inclusive through a range of policy measures, which address the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women and younger generation.

The authors of the report also called for joint work by the APEC member economies governments and businesses to promote open trade and investment and resist protectionism in all of its forms.

Significant steps need to be taken to accelerate the momentum for ambitious and comprehensive economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, notable through the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The ABAC members confirmed their commitment to realizing the FTAAP, as the best way forward to continue to reduce barriers to trade and investment and to enable goods, services and capital to flow freely among the APEC economies.

ABAC members in their appeal to the APEC Leaders also noted that new technologies should be allocated widely and innovation growth should be promoted.

The report also emphasized that MSMEs are the drivers of entrepreneurship and employment. Expanding their role in regional trade and investment is an important means to achieve quality growth and to reinforce the benefits of globalization. ABAC is leading MSME-related initiatives that include: mapping Incubators and Accelerators across APEC economies; APEC Cross-Border E-Commerce Training (CBET); APEC CBET Network; APEC Digital Economy Work Plan; promoting inclusive business models to facilitate participation in global value chains; and efforts to improve the economic empowerment of women.

The ABAC recommendations also highlighted the critical role of finance for sustained growth and need to expand MSMEs` and households` access to finance, deepen capital markets, broaden the long-term investor base, facilitate cross-border capital flows, develop a pipeline of bankable infrastructure projects, promote financial innovation and cooperation, and strengthen disaster risk financing and insurance mechanisms.

The ABAC members also asked the APEC Leaders to strengthen efforts to develop digital infrastructures that will make the region more efficient, competitive and connected.

Finally, upholding the rule of law and promoting good regulatory practice are fundamental ingredients for achieving quality growth and human development as well as enhancing trade and investment flows the ABAC members urged governments to avoid over-regulation and promote regulatory quality through impact assessments, cost-benefit analysis, transparency, public consultation, consistent enforcement and coordination between domestic and international regulators.

Press-release at the official ABAC web-site

© RSPP International Cooperation department

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