The 2018 Work Program

This year, ABAC adopted the theme “Digitization and Innovation – Advancing Social Harmony.”   The 2018 work program will focus on the following priorities: 

  • accelerating regional economic integration
  • sustaining, developing and deepening inclusive growth opportunities
  • creating opportunities for MSMEs to prosper
  • strengthening financial systems to secure stable growth, investment and inclusiveness
  • breaking barriers to enrich society by advancing technology

To carry forward the work program for 2018, ABAC established the following working groups with their respective goals and focus areas:
Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG)

  • Promote open trade and investment; remove non-tariff barriers
  • Enhance regional investment flows
  • Progress pathways towards the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and the Lima Declaration
  • Progress implementation of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap

Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)

  • Promote energy security, diversification and efficiencies and support Post-Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Promote real income growth of low and middle income groups by 3% annually to drive consumption and investment
  • Promote measures to ensure food security, sustainable agriculture and fisheries and urban infrastructure
  • Promote APEC mining principles and inclusive business through extractive industries

MSME & Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG)

  • Enhance MSME access to finance
  • Promote business strategies that stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and good governance
  • Facilitate MSME access to markets and global value chains
  • Promote human capital development of MSMEs in the digital world

Finance & Economics Working Group (FEWG)

  • Mobilize finance and enhanced governance to promote quality infrastructure investment
  • Encourage financial innovation, fintech and inclusiveness
  • Support enhanced fiscal management, revenue raising and improved management of public debt
  • Encourage targeted capacity building measures to enhance financial systems and market efficiencies

Digital and Innovation Working Group (DIWG)

  • Develop business perspectives on frontier digital and innovation challenges; support APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap and E-Commerce Facilitation Framework
  • Promote measures to encourage social absorption of emerging new technologies and entrepreneurship
  • Contribute to the APEC Economic Committee Review of Structural Reforms relevant to digitization and beneficial to business
  • Support development of a policy framework to upgrade human capital skills and training to adapt to challenges of digitization

Detailed recommendations will be developed during the course of this year on all priorities identified in the 2018 work program.  ABAC’s recommendations will be conveyed to APEC governments through a range of avenues including to APEC Senior Officials, Trade, SME and Finance Ministers and directly to APEC Economic Leaders at the annual Dialogue with APEC Leaders.