Since the crash in the global economy in 2008, the world’s eyes have turned to Asia.
Hong Kong’s thousands of headquarter operations and “mini-multinationals”, along with the thousands of professional services firms supporting them, have worried about localisation pressures, and an unravelling of the globalised business model that sits at the heart of Hong Kong’s highly competitive economy.
These developments have breathed life and relevance into APEC, the 21-member economic grouping that spans the Pacific, from Russia in the far north west, to Chile in the distant south east. They have lent urgency and importance to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which APEC leaders rely on to provide a balanced and authoritative voice of business into their policy-making.
It is my challenge at the heart of the HK-APEC Trade Policy Group to make sure Hong Kong’s three ABAC Members provide that balanced and authoritative input on behalf of Hong Kong businesses and the distinctively liberal qualities we stand for. It is the Group’s task to make sure that when they participate in APEC and ABAC discussions, they accurately reflect the views of Hong Kong’s businesses and their priorities.
It is also our challenge to report back to our Hong Kong business community on the discussions, and decisions being made, which have the potential to influence our business lives. At present, this occurs primarily through channels provided by two of our sponsors – the Trade Development Council and the HK General Chamber – but we commit to broadening this, and encourage other business organisations that share our concerns over trade and investment liberalisation in our region to build close links.