China APEC Development Council Newsletter Issue 2, 2009

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ABAC Brunei Meeting Held, China’s Proposal Received Great Attention
Edited by the Secretariat of the Council on May 21, 2009

ABAC’s second meeting for 2009 was held on May 12-15 in the Brunei capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. This meeting was presided over by 2009 ABAC Chair Mr. Deng Theng Dar and business representatives from 21 member economies discussed about many topics. Zhang Lijun, Chairman of China APEC Development Council, appointed his staffer to submit a proposal to the meeting.

The meeting was held against the background of the H1N1 virus and the ongoing economic crisis, so they were much on everyone’s mind as it had been at the meeting. ABAC expressed its concern about the impact of the new type of influenza when the economic situation unimproved. ABAC, with careful observation of the current economic situation, sent a letter to APEC leaders to recommend to take more direct action to fight against the economic crisis, and urge all members in good faith to speed up the pace of efforts for realizating the Bogor goals and the Asia-Pacific Economic integration process. In addition, ABAC also called for the leaders to demonstrate its global leadership to jointly resist trade protectionism and to promote the Doha negotiating process.

ABAC expressed appreciation to the decision on the G20 summit’s commitment to the promotion of trade and against trade protectionism, but deeply worried about the growing protectionism meansures for trade and requested the leaders to take a responsible attitude not to raise any new trade barriers.

The business leaders expressed regret at the failure to conclude the eight-year Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the meeting, and requested the leaders to promote the WTO to set a deadline for the end of Doha Round of negotiation before 2010.

ABAC China representative Zhang Lijun submitted a proposal of “Develop Promotion of APEC Business Travel Card and Business Facilitation Services” to the meeting.

From the perspective of the immediate interests of the majority of cardholders, the proposal advocated to provide more personal services for cardholders to achieve the effective promotion of APEC Business Traval Card and facilitation services. Since the proposal was raised, it has attracted extensive attention of the ABAC representatives and the ABAC Chair Deng Theng Dar recommended head of ABAC facilitation group Nick Reilly to write this proposal into his work report and submitted to the APEC Business Facilitation Working Group. The proposal would further facilitate APEC economic and trade cooperation, promote business facilitation measures to play an important role, and become a specific example at a micro-level to strengthen the response to the economic crisis and resist trade protectionism.