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  • SBF urges Asian businesses to call on their respective governments to support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the 6th Asian Business Summit

SBF urges Asian businesses to call on their respective governments to support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the 6th Asian Business Summit

  • SBF calls on Asian business leaders to urge their respective governments to exercise leadership in facilitating regional integration and ensuring an open trade and investment environment.
  • The 6th Asian Business Summit reflect the expectations and aspirations of the Asian business community in sustaining Asia's economic dynamism.

14 July 2015 [Singapore] The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) led a Singapore delegation to the 6th Asian Business Summit in Tokyo, Japan from 12 to 13 July 2015.  The Summit was hosted by Nippon Keidanren, Japan.

Attended by representatives from 14 business chambers and organisations from 12 Asian economies, the 6th Asian Business Summit, discussed the major challenges for Asian economies in view of emerging global economic trends.  In the joint statement, the Asian business community called for increased collaboration among Asian economies by sustaining robust growth in the region and deepening regional integration. The representatives also advocated collaboration in the development of infrastructure and human resource capabilities, as well as supported collaboration in the dealing of environmental protection and security issues.

Riding on the momentum of the recent passage of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation in the US, SBF called upon the Asian business leaders attending the summit to urge their respective governments to exercise leadership in facilitating regional integration and ensuring an open trade and investment environment,  in particular, to support the ratification of the TPP and the RCEP. Both the TPP and RCEP seek to lower trade barriers and create a liberal and facilitative investment environment. The two agreements benefit many countries and are important pathways to the realisation of wider free trade agreements such as the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area.

During the summit, SBF Chairman Mr S.S. Teo said, “Business communities must take the lead in urging their respective government to promote an environment of free trade and investments. These are important pre-conditions for business to flourish. More needs to be done to improve the dialogue between the Government and the private sector, as well as to integrate businesses more effectively into regional initiatives.

At the summit, SNEF President Dr Robert Yap highlighted that “With Asia's Rising Consumerism in the midst of global uncertainties, regional integration is crucial to the stability and resilience of the Asian economies. As more than 97% of the region's enterprises are SMEs, governmental support and commitment to align the private sector to complement its efforts and change their mindset, is a key element to its success."

SBF CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit called for business leaders to work with government to develop an APEC workforce with 21st Century Skills.  This can be achieved by aligning education and training to industry needs, as well as enhancing the skills of SME workers. Mr Ho added “To reap our demographic dividend, businesses should work together with the government and across borders to determine our destiny.  This can only be enhanced when we recognise the full potential of human development and turn it as a strategic impetus for government and enterprises.”

Fostering private sector growth is important in building a strong front in the economy. Businesses, with their direct presence in the market field, are able to provide the government with constructive feedback. As a result, governments will be able to introduce pro-business schemes by analysing the feedback. Active and open consultations and dialogues between the private sector and governments should help improve the economy in the long run. The 6th Asian Business Summit is an ideal platform to serve this purpose.

Next year, Singapore will be hosting the 7th Asian Business Summit. This Summit and the second Singapore Regional Business Forum will be organised by SBF in 2016 to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties between Japan and Singapore.


Representatives of the 14 business organisations of 12 Asian Economies

L to R: Ho Meng Kit (CEO, SBF), Dr Robert Yap (President, SNEF), Shinzō Abe (Prime Minister, Japan), S. S. Teo (Chairman, SBF), Pek Lian Guan (CEO, Tiong Seng Holdings) & Jeffrey Liew (SBF Secretariat) - Photo by Keidanren

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