APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)

About APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)

Established in November 1995 by APEC economic leaders, ABAC is the private-sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and comprises senior business leaders appointed by their respective economic leaders to serve as its members. The main mandate of ABAC is to advise Leaders and other APEC officials on issues of interest to business. ABAC typically presents its recommendations to leaders during ABAC's annual year-end dialogue with leaders and advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and concerns. ABAC members of the 21 APEC economies typically meet four times during the year to develop and refine these recommendations.

The Singapore Business Federation was appointed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore to perform the role of the national secretariat for ABAC Singapore and represent the Singapore business community's interests on trade and investment issues in the region.


Singapore is represented by its three appointed ABAC members:

Mr Kok Ping Soon


Singapore Business Federation

Mr Wong Wai Meng


SG Tech

Ms Elaine Lam

Head of Global Corporate

Banking OCBC Bank


ABAC Singapore has championed a wide range of issues on behalf of the Singapore business community through the ABAC platform, such as trade liberalisation, leveraging the digital economy, climate change and, more recently, the region's work in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. ABAC's recommendations cumulate in its annual report to APEC Economic Leaders. 

Click here for more information on ABAC, its upcoming events and past reports submitted to APEC Economic Leaders. 


Leading Advocacy Work at the ABAC Economic Integration Working Group (EIWG) in 2023

SBF, as the Singapore representative at ABAC, leads two workstreams at the ABAC Economic Integration Working Group (EIWG) to advance the trade facilitation agenda at APEC. They are: (i) promoting regional cooperation for cross-border paperless trade and (ii) facilitating trade in environmental goods and services in the region. We have been active in engaging our relevant stakeholders, including business leaders and policymakers, through a survey, an industry roundtable, and public-private dialogues to collate feedback and garner mindshare on these important issues. The outcomes of these discussions will contribute to the development of our private sector recommendations to APEC ministers and leaders at the end of the year.

Hosting of 1st APEC Business Advisory Council Meeting in Singapore for 2022

Singapore hosted the 1st ABAC Meeting for 2022 in February.  This was ABAC’s first in-person meeting after two years of virtual meetings. More than 100 delegates from the 21 APEC economies attended the meeting physically, with another 150 delegates participating virtually in ABAC’s first-ever hybrid meeting. 

The hosting of the ABAC I was an important first step taken to allow Asia Pacific business leaders to reconnect face-to-face and was a clear signal to business communities in the region that Singapore is “open for business”. The resumption of cross-border travel is also critical for global economic recovery. While the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of innovative technologies and enabled business to engage virtually, there has also been strong recognition that in person interactions are essential especially for businesses to establish new relationships and build trust. 

Advancing the APEC Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) at ABAC in 2022

SBF led the work in developing private sector recommendations on prioritising outcomes of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) through the development of a multi-year FTAAP Work Plan this year for five key business priorities: (1) Digitalisation (2) Inclusion (3) Sustainability (4) Trade and Investment and (5) Trade Response to the Pandemic.  We also participated in a Public-Private Dialogue with the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) held on 21 May 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, to reiterate ABAC's recommendations and discussed how APEC governments could take steps towards achieving tangible outcomes for businesses in the short to medium term. The full recommendations can be found in ABAC's 2022 APEC Economic Leaders here.

In line with the recommendations in ABAC's Statement on FTAAP, the 2022 APEC Leaders' Declaration reaffirmed their commitment to build on the momentum towards high quality and comprehensive regional undertakings through the FTAAP Agenda Work Plan. Officials were also tasked to carry out the Work Plan and deepen the public and private sector collaboration between the Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) and ABAC to advance the FTAAP agenda. 

Leading the Reopening of Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel Task Force in 2021

SBF convened the ABAC Taskforce on Reopening of Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel to develop recommendations for a regionally consistent framework that would minimise costs and complexities for business travel. As part of our work to develop these recommendations, we facilitated a virtual Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Reopening Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel on 3 May 2021 and gathered inputs from business leaders in the affected sectors and APEC policymakers. The dialogue, which also featured keynote speeches from then Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Hong Kong Commerce Secretary Edward Yau, saw a total of 400 participants from all 21 APEC Economies.

Results from the Survey on Travel Borders we conducted received a total of 305 responses across all 21 APEC Economies and 25 industry sectors also contributed to the recommendations we submitted to APEC Economic Leaders on the reopening of safe and seamless travel. The full recommendations can be found in ABAC’s 2021 Report to APEC Economic Leaders here.

In line with our Recommendations on Reopening Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel, APEC formed the APEC Safe Passage Taskforce which successfully launched the following initiatives in October and November 2022:

  • Voluntary Principles for the Interoperability of Vaccination Certifications in the APEC Region: These principles aim to support the safe reopening of travel in the APEC region and ensure interoperability among vaccination certificates issued by other APEC economies.
  • APEC one-stop information portal: The portal taps into official resources from participating member economies and shows the COVID-19 measures still in place that would help travellers navigate the different protocols in the case of future shocks or another pandemic.

ABAC participants at the Industry Roundtable on Facilitating Trade in Environmental Goods and Services on the sidelines of 2nd ABAC Meeting in Brunei Darussalam.
Panellists and speakers at the Public-Private Dialogue on Regional Cooperation for Cross-Border Paperless Trade.
Panel discussion during the Public-Private Dialogue on Trade in Environmental Goods and Services.
Minister-of-State Low Yen Ling as Guest-of-Honour at the Public-Private Dialogue on Trade in Environmental Goods and Services and Green Exporters Programme Graduation Ceremony.
ABAC Singapore delegation at the 3rd ABAC Meeting in The Philippines.
SBF participated in the ABAC Dialogue with Leaders, alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.