Singapore to host in-person Apec Business Advisory Council meeting in Feb 2022

The decision to resume in-person meetings in 2022 marks the region's rebooting of regional connectivity and recovery. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum is rolling out the welcome mat for in-person meetings again, with Singapore hosting 2022's first Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) meeting in February.

Thailand, which is the chair of the council next year, announced this at the fourth council meeting held virtually on Wednesday (Nov 10) morning.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), which serves as the Abac Singapore secretariat, will host business leaders and senior officials from the 21 Apec economies here at Thailand's invitation.

There are four such meetings each year.

The member economies of Apec include Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico and Japan.

After two years of virtual meetings, the decision by Apec and Abac to resume in-person meetings in 2022 marks the region's rebooting of regional connectivity and recovery, said the SBF on Wednesday.

Leaders representing the business communities of the Apec economies presented the Abac Report, which sets out 43 recommendations to Apec economic leaders, at the Abac meeting on Wednesday.

The recommendations covered regional economic integration, sustainability, inclusion, and digital and finance issues.

SBF said it led the development of recommendations on reopening of borders for safe and seamless travel, for which four key priorities were highlighted.

The first is the development and implementation of a regionally consistent framework to facilitate the continuation of business and social interactions.

The second is the harmonisation of travel regimes and green lanes, including an additional set of health protocols for vaccinated travellers in line with local practices and restrictions.

Knowledge sharing and exchange of information across Apec economies to spur discussions on mutual recognition and encourage the adoption of existing standards and protocols are also key, SBF said.

The next priority is the establishment of a multi-disciplinary Apec task force to help coordinate and implement an Apec-wide framework.

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