The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN- BAC) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration on digital economy issues.
UNE San Francisco —
14 November 2023- This week in San Francisco, USA, ABAC and ASEAN-BAC pledged to work collaboratively to optimize joint efforts in research, advocacy, and program development and implementation in support of common goals in the digital economy.
Businesses in the APEC and ASEAN regions recognize the criticality of a coherent approach to the major challenges facing our people and region. The initial scope of the collaboration, outlined in an MoU, would be focused on the digital economy, where fragmentation threatens economic growth and shared prosperity.
This initial phase will serve as a launchpad that will enable businesses in the region to partner with government and co-create solutions to some of the toughest cross-border challenges such as climate change; energy and food security; as well as trade and investment.
“Our rapidly evolving digital economy has ushered in a new era of unparalleled convenience and efficiency by empowering people and businesses with unprecedented flexibility and speed to innovate, collaborate, and catalyze greater societal well-being,” said ABAC 2023 Chair and Chairman and CEO of East West Bank Dominic Ng. “We are more effective when we work together, and this announcement today is another step forward in ABAC’s and ASEAN’s shared mission to equip businesses of all sizes with the transformational tools and technologies they need to better compete worldwide.”
At ABAC II, hosted in Brunei from April 27-30, 2023, guest speaker and ASEAN-BAC Chair Arsjad Rasjid invited closer collaboration between the two business advisory councils. He noted the opportunities for synergy between ABAC and ASEAN-BAC across five focus pillars of digital transformation, sustainable development, health resilience, food security, and trade & investment facilitation.
ABAC’s Digital and Innovation Working Group (DIWG), and its Chair Jan De Silva, led the process to establish an initial collaborative structure through anABAC and ASEAN-BAC MoU.The focus of work under the MoU will align with the DIWG’s priorities to empower people and businesses to participate fully and securely in the digital economy, advance alignment on digital economy governance, and enable tech adoption to facilitate trade and sustainability.
ASEAN continues to play an integral role in APEC, with seven APEC member economies part of the regional block.ASEAN-BAC Alternate Chair Bernardino Moningka Vega welcomed the signing, saying,“We are optimistic that this collaboration between ABAC and ASEAN-BAC will create stronger regional integration through joint programs and initiatives.”
DIWG Chair Jan De Silva expressed her gratitude to the Chairs of both Councils, highlighting the value of deepening collaboration and engagement between ABAC and ASEAN-BAC.
“While the digital economy is borderless, enabling regulations and trade agreements are not. That’s why ABAC’s Digital and Innovation Working Group is pleased to partner and collaborate with ASEAN-BAC to promote the enabling conditions for all member economies and communities to unlock their potential and participation ” Said Jan De Silva of ABAC Canada and Chair , ABAC Digital and Innovation Working Group .