APEC business advisers call for trade liberalization against protectionism
Updated 10:44, 20-Nov-2018
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) called on APEC economies to support the rules-based global trading system and deliver truly inclusive and sustainable growth.
In the annual report to APEC leaders, released on Thursday, ABAC highlighted the importance of a digital economy, echoing the APEC's 2018 theme of "Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future."
"Digital economy offers numerous possibilities to advance the common good, in terms of sharing the benefits and providing greater opportunities for women-owned businesses and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)," the report said.
However, to allow the benefits of a digital economy to reach all APEC citizens, economies should adapt to the challenges of the digital revolution.
"That means developing a future-ready workforce and investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, investment in effective infrastructure for affordable broadband access, and right policy settings to ensure data flow, privacy and security, while not leaving some economies behind," said David Toua, ABAC chair at a press conference
The ABAC also recommended that APEC leaders continue to support the integrity and purpose of the international trading system to counter the trend towards protectionism.
A billboard is seen in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea. /VCG Photo

A billboard is seen in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea. /VCG Photo

"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 (FTAAP). These are fundamental to ensuring that our region will be seamless, dynamic, resilient and sustainable, and a place where everyone can equally enjoy the opportunities and benefits of regional economic integration," said Toua.
Advancing regional economic integration and inclusive trade policy to foster growth in the digital era would also be one of the overarching priorities in 2019 for ABAC, said Richard von Appen, who will be the ABAC chair in 2019.
The ABAC was created by APEC leaders in 1995. Each economy has three members and they meet four times a year to prepare for their recommendations to APEC leaders.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency