| Danial Norjidi |
YB NIK Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii (Legislative Council member) and Soon Loo, as members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei Darussalam presented the ABAC Report to Leaders for 2017 titled ‘Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future’ to Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II yesterday.
The report highlights the work undertaken by ABAC throughout the year and its recommendations to help sustain the momentum for inclusive growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to an ABAC press release, central in this year’s work is its continued efforts to further streamline the programme with that of APEC’s.
ABAC also called for clear policy initiatives and effective structural reforms for the following priority areas: Enabling a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), pursuing the new services agenda, enhancing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) global presence through digital economy and e-commerce platforms, expanding MSME access to finance and fostering women’s economic empowerment.
ABAC further called on governments to reaffirm their support for multilateral rules-based trade and the progressive market-opening that has underpinned prosperity of the modern era and the centrality of the World Trade Organization.
The press release also noted that ABAC also underlined that greater economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region will enhance the prosperity of Brunei Darussalam.
“As Brunei Darussalam focusses on the achievement of Vision 2035, the government must remain firmly committed to the achievements of the Bogor Goals and the vision for the post-2020 period to realise a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
“As part of APEC’s important connectivity agenda, ABAC urged Brunei Darussalam to recognise the transformative potential of effective access to the Internet and the digital economy for Brunei Darussalam,” read the press release. “ABAC called on the government to prioritise and facilitate development and co-investment with potential partners in core digital infrastructure.
“The members also recognised the services sector, including trade in services, as a key engine for growth.”
ABAC was created by APEC Leaders in 1995 to be the primary voice of business in APEC. Each economy has three members who are appointed by their respective leaders.
They meet four times a year in preparation for the presentation of their recommendations to the leaders in a dialogue that is a key event in the annual Leaders Meeting.