Commerce is the lifeblood of the region and business is the engine of economic growth.

Recognising the integral role of business and the value of representative business advice on key issues, APEC Leaders established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in 1995.

This private sector body presents recommendations to APEC Leaders in an annual dialogue and advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and concerns. ABAC meets four times per year, and ABAC representatives also attend Senior Officials' Meetings, the Annual Ministerial Meeting and the sectoral Ministerial Meetings.

ABAC comprises up to three senior business people from each APEC economy and the appointments are made by the Leader of the member economy concerned. The Chair of ABAC comes from the economy that is hosting APEC and therefore changes annually. ABAC represents a diverse range of sectors and includes small and large enterprises.

Last page update: 24 June 2016

2016 Program

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is the private sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.  APEC Economic Leaders established ABAC in November 1995 to advise them and other APEC officials on issues of interest to business. ABAC also responds to requests from various APEC sub-groups for information about the business perspective on specific areas of cooperation.

ABAC members are appointed by their respective economic leader and represent a range of business sectors, including small and medium enterprises.  Each of the 21 member economies determines the term of their appointees and provides for their administrative and staff support.

Chairmanship of ABAC rotates according to which economy serves as the annual APEC host economy.  Peru is current the APEC host economy, therefore, the ABAC Chair is Mr. Juan Raffo, honorary chairman of the Raffo Group, Peru. 

ABAC is also supported by the ABAC International Secretariat based in Manila. The Secretariat serves all members and all economies and maintains the ABAC website. Funding is provided through annual member dues, following the APEC formula. 

For 2016, ABAC adopts the theme “Quality Growth and Human Development.”   The 2016 work program focuses on the following priorities: 

  • consolidating progress towards the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP);
  • facilitating MSME development through access to global markets and new technologies;
  • promoting economic growth, diversification, and sustainability; and
  • strengthening rule of law and economic and social sustainability ;

To carry forward the work program for 2016, ABAC established the following working groups with their respective goals and focus areas:

Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG)

Focus:  Taking Asia-Pacific to the next level of economic integration

  • supporting the WTO and preventing protectionism
  • accelerating trade and investment liberalization and facilitation
  • strengthening building blocks for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific
  • supporting the services agenda

Finance & Economics Working Group (FEWG)

Focus:  Building bigger, robust and inclusive financial markets

  • promoting the innovation and integration of capital markets
  • stimulating public and private investment for infrastructure
  • enhancing MSME access to finance
  • shaping pension and insurance development

MSME & Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG)

Focus:  Facilitating access to global value chains, innovation, and internationalization

  • facilitating MSME access to international markets and global value chains
  • promoting innovation in MSMEs
  • building collaboration mechanisms between large firms and MSMEs
  • strengthening the participation of women in the economy

Connectivity Working Group (CWG)

Focus:  Closing the gap: removing barriers to greater regional connectivity

  • enhancing digital connectivity
  • facilitating people mobility
  • strengthening institutional connectivity
  • accelerating infrastructure development

Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)

Focus:  Achieving sustainable, eco-friendly and stable economic and social growth

  • boosting food security and promoting the blue economy
  • achieving energy security and sustainability
  • promoting a healthy and productive workforce
  • strengthening the rule of law

The annual ABAC work plan results in detailed recommendations to host economies and includes direct dialog with APEC Senior Officials; Trade, SME, Finance Ministers and directly to APEC Economic Leaders at the annual Dialogue with APEC Leaders. 

ABAC work groups will meet throughout the year as scheduled below:

ABAC I - San Francisco, USA - Feb 24th – 28th (back to back SOM I)

ABAC II - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - April 25th – 28th

ABAC III - Shenzhen, China - August 1st – 4th

ABAC IV – Lima, Peru - Nov 14th-16th

APEC CEO Summit - Lima, Peru – Nov 17th-19th

For further information, please visit the ABAC webpage:


Juan RAFFO (Mr)
Honorary Chairman – Raffo Group
Mariscal La Mar 991 (Ex Ugarte y Moscoso), 7th floor, Magdalena, Lima 17, Peru
Jessica LUNA (Mrs)
Bartolome Herrera 254, Miraflores, Lima 18, Peru
Antonio Basilio (Mr)
32/F. Zuellig Building Makati Avenue Corner Paseo de Roxas Makati City, 1225 Philippines
Joel H. Ostrom (Mr)
Program Director
APEC Secretariat


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23 Jul 2017 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) 3 Toronto, Canada
26 Apr 2017 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) 2 Seoul, Korea
19 Feb 2017 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) 1 Bangkok, Thailand