ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council)
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is an independent high-level group of business people who advise leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on priority issues for business in the region. ABAC was established by regional leaders in 1995 to provide business input into the APEC forum.
ABAC brings together three senior business executives from each of APEC's 21 member economies in Asia, North and South America, and Oceania. ABAC members are appointed by heads of government and report directly to them. New Zealand's current representatives are members Tony Nowell, Wayne Boyd and Maxine Simmons, and Senior Policy Adviser and alternate member Stephen Jacobi.
The Council meets four times a year to develop its report and recommendations on trade and investment liberalisation, which it submits to APEC Leaders at their annual Summit. ABAC conducts its work through a series of committees and working groups, addressing such issues as:
- reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to regional trade and investment
- strengthening domestic financial markets in the region
- promoting greater transparency and best practice in corporate governance
- championing the adoption of international standards
- expediting business transactions through simplified customs procedures
- assisting small businesses in accessing technology, financing and training
ABAC reports to and meets with APEC leaders and ministers in an annual dialogue. It uses the opportunity to deliver a strong and consistent message supporting the role of business in creating jobs, promoting greater prosperity and improving the lives of citizens throughout the Asia-Pacific. A high proportion of its recommendations are accepted by leaders and APEC governments.