Leading business executives from the Asia-Pacific region are meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali this week to finalize the recommendations that will be put to the Leaders of APEC's 21 member economies when they meet in October.
Other items on the agenda of this third annual meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for 2003 are issues ranging from an assessment of APEC's progress towards its free trade goals to current issues affecting regional business.
ABAC Chair, Dr. Viphandh Roengpithya, said this meeting is one of the final chances for ABAC members to develop recommendations to be presented to APEC Leaders this year.
"Right now the regional economy needs continued strong partnership between the government and business sectors," said Dr. Viphandh.
At the Bali Meeting ABAC members will have the opportunity to contribute a great deal to this partnership as we prepare for the annual dialogue with APEC Leaders in October.
The annual ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders is one of the great opportunities for business leaders to sit down with the most powerful leaders in the global economy and discuss issues of joint concern.
For 2003 ABAC has adopted the theme of "Harmony in Diversity: Achieving Balanced and Equitable Growth.
From the work it has undertaken this year, the ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders will most likely cover areas that include:
  1. Addressing security while facilitating trade and investment
  2. Capacity building as the key to achieving balanced and equitable growth
  3. Remaining committed to free and open trade and achieving the Bogor Goals
  4. Addressing corporate governance issues
  5. Ongoing business input into the APEC process
Another issue to be discussed at the ABAC meeting will be an evaluation of APEC's progress towards its free trade goals.
Dr. Viphandh said it is healthy for all participates in the APEC process to be involved with the ongoing analysis of progress being made towards APEC's key objectives.
"APEC has set the Bogor Goals of free trade and investment for developed economies by 2010 and for developing economies by 2020," said Dr. Viphandh.
These goals are attainable and through ongoing assessment and analysis we can be sure we will meet our targets.
The APEC Business Advisory Council will meet until August 2 and will include input from senior members of the Indonesian Government. President Megawati Soekarno Putri represented by Dorodjatun Kuntjorojakti, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs will host a gala dinner on Wednesday, July 30, and the prominent Business Society of Indonesia will organize a dinner performance to honour leading APEC business executives on August 1, 2003.
A press conference will be held to discuss outcomes of the meeting on Saturday, August 2 at 11:40, at the Ritz Carlton Bali.

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