Members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) gathered for a review of 2016 ahead of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting held on 19 and 20 November in Lima, Peru. At ABAC’s fourth and last meeting for the year, the Singapore business community was represented by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), which also serves as the secretariat of ABAC Singapore. Following the meeting, ABAC issued a news release, stressing that protectionism and inward-looking policies will not solve Asia-Pacific’s economic challenges.
Persistent slow growth in the global economy and rising inequality have led to an increasing backlash against globalization, immigration and free trade. The challenge for political and business leaders is to design and put in place policies to ensure that their people can benefit from globalization and integration. This includes expanding education and work training programs and strengthening social safety nets.
“Faced with immediate challenges of weak economic activities and growing economic anxiety within their populace, it is easy to forget how the forces of globalization have for the larger part of post-war economic history, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and powered growth across the Asia-Pacific. However, to realize long-term growth, there is no substitute for expanding trade and investment. Making concrete steps towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific must remain the priority of APEC economies,” said Mr SS Teo, Chairman of SBF.
He added, “Even as we anticipate more turbulence in the global economy next year, Singapore and APEC economies must remember that a rule-based, open and inclusive global trading system can act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth.”
Representing the Singapore business community at ABAC were Mr SS Teo, Chairman of SBF and Managing Director of Pacific International Lines, and Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF.
To read the ABAC News Release – click here