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APEC Business Leaders meet to discuss building
a sustainable and inclusive future

7 Aug 2018

On 24 June, senior business leaders met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss how the

Asia-Pacific region can continue to grow in an uncertain trade and economic environment.


APEC Business Advisory Council Members at ABAC meeting in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia

The APEC Business Advisory Council meeting focused on the impact of the international atmosphere on economic prosperity in the APEC region.

David Toua, Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council, warned of turbulent times ahead. “We have given a strong message to APEC Economic Leaders in our annual Report about our support for the global rules-based trading system and the value we place on pressing ahead towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. These are fundamental to ensuring that our region will be seamless, dynamic, resilient and sustainable – and a place where everyone can enjoy the opportunities and benefits of regional economic integration,” said Mr Toua.


Amid rising trade tensions and growing protectionist sentiment, it is critical that industry continues to support multilateralism and advocate to governments the importance of liberalised markets, free trade and building sustainable and inclusive growth.

“Trade barriers hurt jobs especially those in SMEs participating in Global Value Chains (GVCs), and it hurts our communities and environment. Open and connected markets are not just better for business – they have advanced communities globally. We need to focus on reaching win-win outcomes.”

In line with the theme of APEC 2018; “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future,” Mr Toua emphasised the need to embrace digital innovation as it “means a future-ready workforce, infrastructure, and the right policy settings to ensure data flows, privacy and security, while not leaving some economies behind.”

Mr Toua also noted ABAC’s continued support for improving energy, financial and digital infrastructure and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the ABAC priorities.

APEC Business Advisory Council will meet again in Papua New Guinea during APEC Economic Leaders Week taking place in November 2018. 

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