The global economy appears to have recovered from the steepest decline in economic activity and trade since World War II. The pace of recovery, however, is expected to be too sluggish to prevent further increases in unemployment across the global economy. Moreover, there is a risk that credit constraints and weak demand could derail recovery.
Against this background, ABAC adopted the theme "Working Towards Sustainable Growth for All". ABAC believes that APEC economies should work towards sustainable and inclusive growth, the benefits of which should be shared and enjoyed by all people in the region. ABAC 2010 will focus on the following priorities:
- Strengthening economic structure for balanced growth;
- Advancing regional economic integration; and
- Enhancing economic growth in harmony with the environment.
Balanced growth is a precondition for sustainable and inclusive growth and strong economic structures provide the foundation for balanced growth. ABAC will encourage APEC economies to take further steps to strengthen their economic structures in order to promote sound and well-balanced growth. The ABAC agenda will include regulatory reform to establish a robust financial architecture and strengthening and deepening the region's financial and capital markets, including through capacity building.
The promotion of free and open trade and investment will bolster economic growth and contribute to sustaining such growth. Hence, resort to protectionism and trade restrictive measures should be avoided. To reinvigorate and enhance global and regional trade, efforts must be taken to bring the Doha Development Agenda negotiations to a successful conclusion and to further advance regional economic integration, including through a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). An assessment of the achievement of the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by the APEC industrialized economies will be undertaken and the future goals and directions of APEC and ABAC offered from the business perspective.
Finally, in order to achieve sustainable growth, ABAC believes that economic growth must be pursued hand in hand with the preservation of the environment. To this end, ABAC will continue to focus on the energy security and climate change challenges facing the region. It will also pursue the food security roadmap it put forward in 2009 through the Food Dialogue it is proposing with APEC.
Reflecting the priorities identified in the 2010 work program, ABAC established the following working groups to carry forward its work:
- Capacity Building and Action Plan Working Group (CBAPWG)
- Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)
- Facilitation Working Group (FWG)
- Liberalization Working Group (LWG)
- Finance and Economics Working Group (FEWG)
Detailed recommendations will be developed during the course of this year on all priorities identified in the 2010 work program for submission to APEC officials, the relevant sectoral ministerial meetings and the APEC Economic Leaders in advance of the annual dialogue.