Inclusive growth to top agenda of ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders

Update: 18:25 | 05/11/2017
Inclusive growth and trade liberalisation will be the focuses of the upcoming APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with APEC Economic Leaders, according to delegates to the ongoing 4th ABAC Meeting in the central city of Da Nang.
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“Inclusive growth is very important to many economies within APEC so many of the 21 economies support inclusive growth very strongly,” said David Toua from Papua New Guinea, ABAC Chair 2018.

Papua New Guinea will be including inclusive growth in its priorities for 2018 as the APEC host, following what Vietnam has been treating as priorities, he said.

To promote inclusive growth, Papua New Guinea will create policies to develop micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and digitalisation, making more people engaged in the economy in a more considerable way, he noted.

He stated that trade liberalisation is really one of the ABAC’s priorities. “We strongly believe in trade liberalisation, we push an agenda and we will present it to the leaders,” he said.

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Delegates attending the Fourth ABAC Meeting 2017.

The ABAC will submit 20 recommendations to the APEC leaders and they all support the ideas of trade liberalisation and inclusive growth, David Toua said, adding Papua New Guinea will back most of the recommendations during the year 2018.

Rod Eddington, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Advisory Council of Australia’s J.P. Morgan, said that in inclusive growth, a liberal trade environment within APEC must be ensured so that economies can trade freely. For economies like Vietnam, it’s very important to have such environment as it has the ability to export. Vietnam should direct agricultural products and manufactured goods to APEC members.

As benefits from increasing liberal trade have risen over the last 30 years and will continue to increase in the future, the focus of the ABAC Dialogue with APEC Economic Leaders should be inclusive growth, he said.

“We will also deliver that we need a free and open trade,” he stressed.

Sharing the same view, Allan Zeman, a business magnate from Hong Kong, China, also emphasised the importance of open trade among economies. “We will talk to the APEC leaders about how economies can be more open to trade,” he said.

In 2020, there will be more free trade among economies and it is really a goal that all economies are working together to see how it can be achieved, he added.

According to Rio Fiocco, alternate member of the ABAC’s Papua New Guinea Secretariat, the ABAC will strongly recommend the APEC leaders to continue the principle of free trade and commerce.

“Some people think we should restrict trade between borders but the ABAC has a strong message to the Leaders that free trade is good for the region’s prosperity as it creates jobs throughout APEC economies,” he said.

In addition to inclusive growth and trade liberalisation, technology and digitalisation, finance and infrastructure development will be also submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders during the November 10 dialogue.

The dialogue forms part of events during the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6-11.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

APEC represents about 39 percent of the world’s population and contributes 57 percent to global GDP and 49 percent of international trade.

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(Source: VNA)