China APEC Development Council Newsletter Issue 3, 2009

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Successfully completed the expected tasks at ABAC Third Meeting 2009

Edited by the Secretariat of the Council on September 2, 2009

The ABAC third meeting for 2009 was held in Da Nang, Vietnam from August 24 to 27, and H.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Triet, President of the S.R. of Vietnam attended and delivered a warm speech at the opening ceremony. Zhang Lijun, ABAC China representative and Chairman of China APEC Development Council, appointed a working group to attend this meeting.

On the eve of ABAC third meeting, ABAC Vietnam Chair Hoang Van Phong held a business luncheon at the Furama Resort Hotel. The ABAC 2009 Chair Teng Theng Dar and Chair of the APEC CEO Summit 2009 Chong Siak Ching introduced the ABAC working groups’ work in 2009 and the preparations of APEC CEO Summit respectively. Among this, one should be mentioned that the form of APEC CEO Summit 2009 would be different from the past in order to facilitate more effective communication between representatives of business communities. The change would bring a new breath for APEC reform.

In the plenary session, Chair Teng Theng Dar briefly introduced two important documents including the draft recommendation letter to APEC leaders and ABAC 2009 Report for approval. The letter specifically put forward the proposal to resist protectionism, establish a realistic timetable to achieve Bogor Goals’ free and open trade and investment environment, and lead a way to a successful conclusion to the Doha Round negotiations and so on.

ABAC Japan Yoshihiro Watanabe delivered speech on the current economic outlook. The main points include: 1. Has the global recession hit bottom? 2. Are financial markets stabilizing? 3. Assessment of fiscal and monetary policies and strategies. 4. How to rebalance the economic growth? He analyzed the above-mentioned points respectively and put forward his views on them. In addition, Ms. Linda Carroll from APEC Secretariat points out in her speech: We should not only strengthen communication inside APEC, but also should promote exchanges outside APEC. She also reviewed APEC brand strategy.

Five ABAC working groups consisting of Financial & Economics Working Group (FEWG), Capacity Building & Action Plan Working Group (CBAPWG), Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG), Facilitation Working Group (FWG) and Liberalization Working Group (LWG) delivered report on their work arrangements and the progress of their work respectively. The main topics for the Facilitation Working Group Meeting include: 1. Labor mobility & supply chain logistics. 2. Customs procedures. 3. To establish ABTC information service platform. The third one was listed as an important issue at the meeting, which was the proposal submitted by Zhang Lijun at Brunei ABAC meeting.

With regard to ABTC, ABAC at the BMG meetings held in Singapore on July 31, August 1, 2 and 3, 2009 requested BMG to enhance the functions of the ABTC as follows: 1. by expanding the coverage beyond the APEC region, and 2. by launching “Business Facilitation Program” to provide information service platform for ABTC holders. However, BMG Chair pointed out that it would be suitable for CTI to take charge of this issue because of its political sensitivity. He also suggested that it should require careful consideration in terms of the private information protection. Meanwhile, Australia submitted a proposal to BMG that the construction of ABTC platform should be undertaken by some selected private companies so that it would be practical to provide business facilitation service for cardholders. The proposed services include discounted hotel room rate, discounts at duty free retailers at international airports and business lounge privileges at domestic airports.

At the Capacity Building & Action Plan Working Group Meeting, the key topics include: 1. update on the upcoming 2009 APEC SME Summit; 2. enhance private sector collaboration in pan regional emergencies. Some delegates proposed that a summary of key points and findings from the SME Summit should be formally submitted to the CBAPWG so that they could bring them into their recommendations to Leaders or Ministers to help the development of SME.

The meeting summarized the annual work of ABAC and approved the recommendation letter to APEC leaders and ABAC2009 Annual Report, which made full preparation for APEC CEO Summit 2009. ABAC also sent a letter to G20 finance ministers to urge them to delay policy adjustment in capital needs until the global economy recovered. Now it is time to breathe new life into the current economy, which plays an important role in avoiding the quarantine restrictions. In addition, ABAC agreed that it is time for them to carry out substantial steps towards regional economic integration process in consideration of the global economic crisis and the stagnated Doha Round negotiations.

During the meeting, the council’s working group exchanged views on strengthening cooperation and exchange between enterprises with ABAC Chair Mr. Teng Theng Dar, and Mr.Teng gave a positive response and support for it. He appointed his assistant Mr. Martin Yuoon to talk about the specific arrangements. The Working Group also met with Martin Yuoon to talk about the specific program and reached a consensus on time, form and scope of exchange. The council would further promote the implementation of the plan after asking the board members’ opinions.

The working group also expressed the council’s willingness to establish relationships with allied institutions from APEC member economies to APEC Secretariat. APEC Secretariat Program Director Ms. Tran Bao Ngoc was glad to assist the council to make contact with allied institutions. She said that she would let the 21 APEC member economies know the intention of the council as soon as possible in order to make broad connection and promote the exchanges and cooperation between the business communities as well.

In addition, the working group exchanged views on the Facilitation Working Group’s report with Ms. Linda Carroll, Communications & Outreach Manager of APEC Secretariat. APEC Secretariat showed support for China to build ABTC Information Service Platform and suggest considering the seriousness of ABTC brand and maintaining close ties with APEC Secretariat. She said that APEC Secretariat would actively assist the construction of this platform.

The working group successfully completed the expected tasks at 2009 ABAC Da Nang Meeting. The council will make great efforts to carry out all plans.