Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Preparations are underway for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) III meeting to be hosted in Cebu, Philippines, July 27 to 30, 2023. The highly anticipated gathering will bring over 200 delegates representing all of the 21 APEC economies to foster fruitful discussions and collaborations. The upcoming ABAC III meeting in Cebu is an example of the remarkable outcomes that can be achieved through robust collaboration between the public and private sectors. In a true display of unity, the national government, the local government unit (LGU) of Cebu, and the private sector have joined forces to prepare for this significant gathering. This collaborative effort epitomises the role of ABAC as the bridge between business leaders and policymakers.

The fundamental goal of ABAC is to offer suggestions and counsel on policy issues that impact the economic progress of the region. Following ABAC III, the next leg will coincide with the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, where there will be a formal dialogue. The private sector, represented by the business leaders of ABAC, will share their expertise and recommendations with leaders of APEC economies.ABAC III in Cebu serves as a platform to propel the APEC community towards a future of shared prosperity, driven by equity, sustainability, and opportunity. With the active participation of ABAC Philippines and the valuable contributions of its esteemed members, the gathering promises to be a step toward transformative change.

During his opening statement at the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, last November 17, 2022, Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. stressed the important role of dialogue between the public and private sector in fostering inclusive growth. “Let us build, continue to build, on APEC’s long-running partnership with the private sector, and be increasing lockstep with the APEC Business Advisory Council, which is the voice of the business community in the Asia-Pacific,” said President Bongbong Marcos.

“APEC’s value and relevance are its ability to work with business. There is no other organisation or forum that actively seeks out the concerns of business the way APEC does, and this tight engagement is what makes APEC unique, functional, and important,” the President continued. As a member of ABAC Philippines and the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the country’s leading conglomerates, Aboitiz recognises the third leg of the ABAC meetings as an exceptional opportunity to showcase the country’s immense potential and drive its economic growth forward.

“The strength of the Philippines lies in our unity and collaboration, and in the power of public-private partnerships. They are the pillars that support our potential to be the Next Big Thing in Asia. ABAC III will provide a global stage where we can show that potential, and where we can translate possibilities into action. It’s not just about sharing our growth story, but about inviting the world to be part of it,” said Aboitiz

As the Vice-Chair of the 2023 ABAC Sustainable Growth Working Group (SGWG), Aboitiz plays a crucial role in advancing ABAC’s efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the region. Together with ABAC Philippines member Joanne de Asis, who is also the country lead for the Financial Task Force, and ABAC Philippines Chair Tomas Alcantara, ABAC Philippines represents a powerful force driving impact change and propelling the region towards a more sustainable future.

Under the theme “Equity, Sustainability, and Opportunity,” ABAC aims to address pressing challenges and opportunities within the ASEAN community. This year’s theme highlights the crucial role of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the local and global economy, as well as the evolving environment, social, and governance (ESG) landscape. By placing emphasis on these key areas, ABAC Philippines seeks to promote inclusive growth, drive sustainable practices, and encourage responsible investments that benefit the people.

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