Economic integration

Deepening economic integration and equipping businesses for dynamic, inclusive and sustainable growth, key to economic recovery

Vancouver, April 28, 2022 – Asia-Pacific business leaders on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), meeting this week in Vancouver, affirmed their determination to continue to work closely together to meet the challenge of maintaining the region’s growth trajectory in the face of an increasingly complex, interconnected and rapidly changing global environment.

ABAC Chairman for 2022, Supant Mongkolsuthree, said a series of serious challenges arising from the lingering effects of the pandemic and recent events that have disrupted global markets and the supply chain – triggering inflationary pressures and threatening food security – have affected Asia. -Capacity of the Pacific region to achieve sustainable, inclusive and resilient growth.

“Responding to these challenges requires decisive and proactive action, both to deepen the economic integration of our territory, and to better equip our businesses, including the smallest ones, for dynamic and sustainable growth. We will take the opportunity to share our views on how to achieve this with the APEC Trade Ministers meeting next month,” the President said.

To deepen economic integration, ABAC has always advocated the eventual realization of an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP) as the key to achieving this.

“We welcomed APEC’s initiative for a renewed dialogue on the FTAAP,” the president said. “We will propose to ministers that APEC launch five multi-year joint work programs to develop tangible results on identified trade priorities, including digitalization, inclusion, sustainability, trade and investment, and trade response to the pandemic.”

“We also want to see a stronger and more relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) and we will call on APEC Ministers to work together to shape an outcome of the 12th Ministerial Conference that enables a strong, credible and relevant WTO, which provides a solid foundation for the rules-based multilateral trading system, responds effectively to the pandemic, promotes a robust return to growth, and reflects changing needs and trading patterns.

“ABAC’s priorities have been and will continue to be focused on creating a more level playing field for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also critical that MSMEs develop a long-term approach to embrace digitalization to build resilience and promote innovation and agility in the face of uncertain market demands and business environments.

The President also said that ABAC supports the global sustainability agenda by emphasizing “we must build a net zero economy and promote green recovery pathways, including the development of innovative tools for the transition to a net-zero economy. low-carbon, building on our principles of climate leadership.” We must also foster a sustainable food system that provides food safety and security through the use of technology and by reducing market distortions”.

A cybersecurity symposium held on the sidelines of the meeting provided insights on how to make APEC a leader in cybersecurity while closing the cybersecurity skills gap. He discussed the creation of platforms and opportunities for cooperation on cybersecurity in the region, extremely important of course in our digital age.

The President thanked ABAC Canada for hosting the meeting, which demonstrates ABAC’s determination to enable the resumption of business and cross-border travel and to learn to live with COVID-19, judging by the large number of on-site participants from ABAC members.

The Honorable Ravi Kahlon, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation delivered the keynote address during the opening session of the meeting.

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