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SBF supports the call from senior business leaders from the Asia-Pacific to help build a sustainable and inclusive future in turbulent times

30 July 2018 [Singapore] - SBF represented the Singapore business community at the third meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 23 to 26 July. ABAC was established by the APEC Leaders in 1995 to be the primary voice of business in APEC. ABAC meets four times a year in preparation for its dialogue with APEC Leaders in which the group officially presents its recommendations.

At this third meeting, ABAC expressed deep concern over the escalating trade tensions and the significant downside risk it poses to global economic growth. This is especially as many economies in the world have only recently emerged from the doldrums. ABAC also reiterated its strong support for the global rules-based trading system and the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). These points were strongly emphasised in ABAC’s 2018 Report to the APEC Economic Leaders, that was finalised at the meeting.

“Although the potential impact of rising trade tensions is deeply worrying, it is reassuring to know that key international business groups, like ABAC, are highlighting their concerns and very determined to help promote an environment of international trade and investment that benefits small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and communities globally. Aligned with our Government’s efforts, SBF continues to work very closely with like-minded business groups in other countries to promote free trade,” said Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF.

“We have not received any reports from our companies on the impact of the ongoing trade tensions to their businesses yet. But we encourage our companies to contact SBF if they encounter any problems in exporting their products and services overseas so that we can help address the issues”, added Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF.

In line with its initiative to support SMEs and communities globally, ABAC also discussed how these segments could be helped so that they can fully leverage the benefits of the digital economy. The discussions at ABAC also stressed the importance of economies also taking into account the perspectives and insights from businesses, so that economies can put in place the right policies. Mr Saw Ken Wye, Chairman of the SGTech and CEO of CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd, also attended the ABAC meeting and shared on Singapore’s experience in adapting to the digital age. ABAC agreed to have more of such experience sharing to raise the awareness of businesses and the governments of APEC economies on the benefits of digitalisation, the importance of adapting regulations in a calibrated and agile manner to new scenarios that arise due to technological changes, and the importance of developing an inclusive ecosystem for the digital economy.

The media release for the 2018 ABAC III Meeting is available here for reference.

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