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APEC Business Leaders Urge for Collective Action on COVID-19 and Global Challenges

Tuesday, 3 August 2021 [Singapore]
– Singapore Business Federation (SBF) joined Asia-Pacific business leaders virtually at the third APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting of the year held earlier today.

Representing Singapore at the meeting were SBF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Lam Yi Young and SBF Senior Advisor Mr Ho Meng Kit.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened the meeting with a keynote address to underscore the significance of the business community’s contributions in APEC. The meeting also finalised ABAC’s annual “Letter and Report to APEC Economic Leaders” which featured actionable short- and long-term recommendations that are aligned with the 2021 theme of People, Place, Prosperity. Business leaders reiterated the need for an immediate and collective response to address critical global problems, most urgently the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside other key issues such as addressing climate change, reinvigorating economic growth, and facilitating digital transformation.

During the meeting, the Council also endorsed the recommendations developed by the ABAC Reopening Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel Taskforce led by Mr Lam. The recommendations, which underlined the need for a regionally consistent framework to minimise the cost and complexity of resuming travel, were put forward taking into account results of a survey of business travellers conducted by the Taskforce from April to June this year. The survey received a total of 305 responses across all 21 APEC Economies and 25 industry sectors. Please refer to the results of the survey here for more information.

The survey was a follow-up from the virtual Public-Private Dialogue on Reopening Borders for Safe and Seamless Travel that took place on 3 May, which facilitated discussions between senior government officials and business leaders from the trade and aviation industries on building a regional framework for border reopening.

Mr Lam said, “Businesses have given consistent feedback that business travel is essential to business recovery and growth, and that they look forward to the reopening of borders and resumption of travel in a safe and seamless way. We urge APEC member economies to work together on a regionally consistent framework, so as to enable the safe and seamless reopening of borders when the COVID-19 situation allows.”

ABAC will next meet in November to conclude the year with its fourth meeting as well as the ABAC Dialogue where recommendations will be presented to the APEC Economic Leaders.

Please refer to the ABAC media release here for more information.

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