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SBF joins senior business leaders from the Asia-Pacific in their call for the region to maintain open markets, free trade and inclusive growth

[19 April 2018] Singapore - SBF represented the Singapore business community at the APEC Business Advisory Council’s (ABAC’s) second meeting for the year, held in Tokyo, Japan, from 16 to 19 April. ABAC is the sole official private sector advisory body of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), that that has direct communications with the APEC Leaders.

In line with ABAC’s theme, “Digitalisation and Innovation – Advancing Social Harmony”, for the year, the meeting discussed ways in which the region can continue to reduce barriers to trade and investment, foster more inclusive growth for micro, small and medium enterprises, and benefit from the internet and digital economy. More importantly, the meeting prepared a set of detailed recommendations for the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting that will be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, next month.

“Against a backdrop of what we see as escalating protectionist rhetoric and action, it is important for APEC to show leadership and press on with its efforts towards open markets, free trade and investments, and inclusive growth. The integrity of the global rules-based World Trade Organisation trading system, including its dispute settlement mechanism and economies’ concessions and obligations, must be fully respected. This system has served as the foundation of many decades of improvements in global prosperity and stability, and significant reductions in poverty. It is particularly important for small economies. We urge APEC economies to maintain momentum and give priority to pursuing the pathways, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Pacific Alliance, and progress towards the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. At the same time, governments and businesses must also do their part to ensure that the benefits of free trade are distributed to all segments of society in their respective economies,” said Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO, SBF, who attended the meeting.

The Media Release for the 2018 ABAC II Meeting is available here for reference.

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