APEC Business Advisory Council pushes 4-pt agenda for inclusive globalization
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council Philippines (ABAC PH) has vowed to continue to work with government to push for a four-point agenda of promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), infrastructure development, services sector and digital innovation, in line with President Duterte’s call for inclusive globalization.

In a statement yesterday, ABAC PH said it is reaffirming its push for the four-point agenda wherein MSMEs would be able to cope with and benefit from changes in technology during the APEC Summit held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea earlier this month.

“Now more than ever, world economies are being challenged to bring in the benefits of free and open trade, especially to the developing economies and for people at the margins. The global trading system can definitely do more – but we need to work on strategic areas with our economic partners, such as those from APEC, to unleash growth at home and the rest of the region,” ABAC PH chair Tomas Alcantara said.

During the APEC-related meetings with other business leaders and government officials, ABAC PH pushed for the four-point agenda covering growing globally competitive MSMEs, accelerating economic growth through infrastructure,  championing the services sector in the global economy, and harnessing digital innovation for the future economy.

To push the agenda further, ABAC PH said it is committed to engage with government.

In particular, it would work more closely with the Department of Trade and Industry to provide an effective enabling ecosystem for MSMEs through helping make financing available and more accessible, boosting the capacity of the sector for scale, and strengthening linkages with domestic and international value chains.

For the infrastructure development agenda, ABAC PH said it would continue to work with counterparts in other countries to look at other financing mechanisms that can support government’s efforts.

ABAC PH also intends to collaborate with APEC bodies to tap the catastrophe bonds given that the Philippines is prone to natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. 

For the services sector which has been the major driver of productivity and economic growth in the Philippines and in the region, ABAC PH will continue to engage the government for trade facilitation, particularly by pushing for structural reforms, and enhancing physical, institutional and people connectivity.

ABAC PH is also studying key sub-sectors which can attract investments and create jobs in the country.

To have a workforce that is ready for the digital economy in the future, ABAC PH will likewise have a role in promoting education and training.

ABAC which was created by APEC leaders in 1995, serves as the primary voice of business in APEC, providing recommendations during the annual meeting.

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