National Center for APEC



  • April 16 - April 19, 2018
  • July 23 - July 26, 2018
  • October 15 - October 17, 2018
    Finance Ministers Meeting
  • November 12 - November 13, 2018
  • November 12 - November 18, 2018
    APEC Economic Leaders Week

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ABAC 2017 Report to APEC Economic Leaders

ABAC 2017 Report



ABAC 2017 Report to APEC Economic Leaders: Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future





Complete list of NCAPEC publications


  • ABAC Members at 2013 ABAC IV

    ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders in 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam.

A key APEC milestone was the 1995 creation of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). By 1993, APEC had recognized the need for private sector input into their discussions on trade and investment liberalization, facilitation, and capacity building. APEC Leaders first established the APEC Eminent Persons Group (1992-1995) and the Pacific Business Forum (1993-1995) to identify how it could engage the private sector more actively and effectively in APEC discussions, since the focus of APEC's work was so directly tied to business and economics in the region. Both of these bodies recommended that APEC Leaders formalize the business consultation process in APEC.

At the 1995 Leaders' Meeting in Osaka, Japan, Leaders created ABAC - a permanent, institutional mechanism for APEC to draw on for private sector input. ABAC effectively formalized the private sector's role in APEC, ensuring it was provided with a seat at every APEC meeting. ABAC has enhanced APEC policymakers' ability to produce outcomes that are directly meaningful and relevant to companies seeking to trade in the region.

How ABAC Works

  • ABAC Members at 2013 ABAC IV

    ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders in 2016 in Lima, Peru.

ABAC meets on a quarterly basis to assess the regional business climate and develop specific input to share with APEC senior and working-level officials on how "doing business" can be made easier. ABAC compiles these recommendations in an annual Report to Leaders, which is presented to APEC Leaders prior to their annual summit in the fall of each year.

ABAC reports and studies can be found on the website of ABAC's Manila-based secretariat:, and also in the reports section of our website.

The annual ABAC Dialogue with Leaders is another key element of ABAC's work. The Dialogue provides a channel for ABAC members to raise key issues, projects, and initiatives with APEC Leaders. ABAC's annual report provides the starting point for discussions in the Dialogue, but the Leaders' own questions and areas of interest steer these conversations. Discussions cover a wide range of issues, including economic and trade policy, where the views from the Business Advisory Council members provide valuable context for Leaders.

ABAC members also regularly attend APEC ministerial-level meetings to ensure that there is a significant and substantive interaction between APEC officials and members of the private sector. Meetings of Ministers of Trade, Finance, SMEs, Energy, Agriculture, and Transportation regularly include interactions with ABAC members and other regional business executives. As part of this interaction, ABAC issues a letter to each Ministerial meeting outlining key private sector recommendations.

ABAC's letters can be seen here.

ABAC Members

ABAC is comprised of up to three businesspersons from each APEC member economy who are appointed to serve on the Council by the Leaders of their respective economies. ABAC members represent a range of business sectors, including small and medium enterprises. A current list of ABAC members can be seen here.

Under the leadership of President Obama, the U.S. government has appointed Richard Cantor, Chief Risk Officer, Moody's Corporation; Marija Zivanovic-Smith Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Communications and Government Relations,NCR Corporation; and Scott Price, Chief Transformation Officer, United Parcel Service (see their biographies here).

ABAC Working Groups

The REIWG works on a range of issues on the trade agenda with the ultimate goal of accelerating regional economic integration. Focus is given to supporting APEC's trade & investment agenda, identifying non-tariff barriers, enhance regional investment flows, and progress pathways to the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) and the Lima Declaration. The REIWG also provides leadership in developing APEC's services agenda, and tracks the global trade agenda including the WTO.

The FEWG focuses on increasing financing for small and medium enterprises, financial inclusion, developing and integrating capital markets in Asia, infrastructure finance and investment, as well as improving valuation standards and practices in APEC. The FEWG also provides recommendations on setting standards for strong domestic financial systems to help economies sustain the momentum necessary to effect necessary reforms. In 2012, ABAC proposed the establishment of an Asia-Pacific Financial Forum (APFF), a regional platform for enhanced public-private collaboration to accelerate the development of robust and integrated financial markets in the Asia-Pacific.  The APFF was endorsed by APEC Finance Ministers in 2013.  More details regarding the APFF can be found on NCAPEC's Financial Services webpage.

The SDWG focuses primarily on deepening inclusive growth opportunities within APEC economies. Areas of focus include promoting energy security and addressing the impact of climate change, improving food security and sustainable aquaculture in the region through technology sharing, rural development initiatives, trade facilitation, and an increased focus on public-private partnerships. The SDWG also promotes inclusive business practices in the extractive industries.

The SMEWG works towards creating an environment that facilitates creation, growth and sustainability of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs). The SMEWG has a holistic agenda that promotes policies that support SME start-up and sustainability, facilitates their economic inclusion and internationalization, and builds long term capacity for SME success so that they may ultimately grow to become large enterprises. The SMEWG also focuses on increased economic and financial inclusion, particularly among women entrepreneurs, and promotes human capital development of SMEs to leverage the digital commercial environment.

The DIWG focuses on developing business perspectives on frontier digital and innovation challenges; supporting the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap and E-Commerce Facilitation Framework; promoting measures to encourage social absorption of emerging new technologies and entrepreneurship; contributing to the Economic Committee Review of Structural Reforms relevant to digitization and beneficial to business; and supporting the development of a policy framework to upgrade human capital skills and training to adapt to challenges of digitization.

ABAC USA Secretariat

The National Center for APEC serves as the Secretariat for the three ABAC USA members. In that capacity, NCAPEC prepares briefing materials, staffs ABAC meetings, and conducts an annual Executive Roundtable with senior U.S. business representatives to provide input to the ABAC members. The National Center for APEC also coordinates with the ABAC USA members and their counterparts around the region to ensure that ABAC USA participation flows smoothly.