Asia-Pacific Business Representatives Make Recommendations on Measures to Boost Economic Recovery
• Business community urges Asia-Pacific Leaders to deepen regional economic integration, support the rules-based multilateral trading system, establish a regulatory framework for the emerging digital economy and to address issues of inclusivity and sustainability in the economy.
• SBF CEO Ho Meng Kit has been appointed Chair of the Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG) in 2021 where he will continue to champion an open and predictable global trade and investment environment.
Thursday, 19 November 2020 [Singapore] – Business representatives from 21 Asia-Pacific Economies presented recommendations for economic rebuilding and revitalisation to their Leaders at the fourth APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting on 17 November 2020.
The Singapore business community was represented by Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Ms Teo Lay Lim, Chairman of Accenture Singapore and Mr Goh Beng Kim, Co-Head, Client Coverage, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking of Singapore Standard Chartered Bank, as members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the advisory body appointed by Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to provide private sector recommendations on regional cooperation.
The report to Leaders expands on the recommendations for immediate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic made to Trade Ministers in July 2020. The latest recommendations include deepening regional economic integration, supporting the rules-based multilateral trading system, putting in place a regulatory framework for the emerging digital economy, and addressing issues of inclusivity and sustainability in the economy. ABAC’s official press release can be found here. The report to APEC Economic Leaders 2020 can be found here.
In conjunction with the last ABAC meeting of the year and the APEC Leaders Summit, the APEC CEO Dialogues, a premier meeting of government and business leaders is being held from 19 to 20 November 2020. At the APEC CEO Dialogues on 19 November, Mr Ho moderated a dialogue with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on “The Future of Global Growth”.
Mr Ho said, “Governments and businesses have made remarkable efforts to mitigate the immediate impact of the pandemic. However, with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, we need a safe and consistent guide for borders to reopen. This resumption of safe and seamless travel is crucial to generate market demand and revive business and other activities that will enable the global economy to recover. The establishment of the Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble, which replaces quarantine requirements with testings between two low-risk jurisdictions, is a big step towards this. The APEC Summit is hopefully an opportunity for Leaders to progress work on a possible regional travel bubble to facilitate movement of people across borders.”
Mr Ho has also been appointed as Chair of the Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG) in 2021, where he will continue to champion an open and predictable global trade and investment environment that Singapore businesses need to prosper. The REIWG will continue work on advancing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), strengthening and reforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the rules-based multilateral system, and facilitating trade in services through the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR).
Mr Ho said, “I look forward to leading ABAC’s work on regional economic integration, having been a member of ABAC for the last eight years and co-chairing the REIWG for five years. 2021 will not be an easy year as we continue to grapple with a global economy still emerging from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and regional business leaders still unable to meet in-person. Engaging stakeholders such as businesses during policy development is important to ensure the implementation of policies that work. We laud the foresight of APEC governments in establishing the ABAC as a formalised structure to consult the private sector.”
SBF will continue to represent the Singapore business community at various international forums and platforms, and advocate strongly for the interest of our businesses. Businesses which are interested to contribute to our international advocacy efforts or are looking for assistance to internationalise can contact us at .