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Stay the course on globalization but make it work better, say Asia-Pacific business leaders3 May

Members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), meeting in Seoul to prepare recommendations on business priorities for APEC Trade Ministers in May, emphasized the tremendous benefits that more open trade has delivered for Asia-Pacific communities, lifting millions from poverty, enhancing productivity and generating dynamic growth in the region.

“By contrast, protectionism harms employment, food security and living standards,” said 2017 ABAC Chair Hoang Van Dung. “Leaders need strongly to resist the temptation to throw up the barriers to trade and investment.”

ABAC recognizes that relevant regional arrangements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Pacific Alliance, among others, can help us achieve the APEC Bogor Goals for free and open trade in the Asia Pacific.

“Economies in the Asia-Pacific are still open for business – and that’s great for our communities,” Mr Hoang added. “We encourage the TPP parties to implement the commitments of the TPP and preserve its high quality outcomes. We also call on the RCEP parties to complete the negotiations by the end of the year, ensuring that the agreement is comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial.”

The ABAC recommendations to Trade Ministers focus on the benefits of freeing up and growing services trade and reducing non-tariff barriers for goods. They also highlight the centrality of the WTO and the value of ambitious and comprehensive trade agreements, including an eventual Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. In addition, ABAC notes that more robust supply chains will allow the huge potential of the digital economy to be more fully realized. Finally, ABAC emphasizes the need for inclusive policies to enable small businesses and women to participate more easily in global markets.

Press-release at the official APEC web-site

© RSPP International Cooperation department

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