Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » APEC business heads want fast-tracking of regional free trade area

Business leaders in Asia-Pacific called for the implementation of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) to safeguard against global financial and sovereign risks, especially the euro zone crisis.

Members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) met in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, this week to urge greater economic integration among APEC economies, the liberalization of trade and investment, and the pursuit of a robust growth trajectory.

The business executives noted that the fragile global economy continues to expose Asia-Pacific economies to serious downside risks, with the euro-zone crisis looming as the primary threat to global growth.

“Regional economic integration and achieving the Bogor Goals remain ABAC’s top priority,” said Ziyavudin Magomedov, the 2012 ABAC chair. “ABAC calls for substantive progress to be made towards the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, and urges that all pathways to FTAAP should reflect the key principles of inclusiveness, transparency and comprehensiveness.”

ABAC also recommended that APEC work to improve the investment environment through the promotion of strong investment principles, financial market stability, supply chain and infrastructure development, food and energy security, skills development and SMME growth.

From 2010 to 2020, Asia-Pacific economies will require roughly US$8 trillion in infrastructure investment, a level of demand that cannot be met without substantial involvement of the private sector, the ABAC said in a press statement.

The ABAC is the official voice of business in APEC and brings together business leaders from the APEC’s 21 economies to identify policy priorities and key concerns of the business sector.

The ABAC recommendations will be presented to the APEC economic leaders in Vladivostok in September.


Photo: mckaysavage


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