APEC business advisory body sees Belt and Road Initiative vital to regional infrastructure development

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-06 23:05:13|Editor: Song Lifang
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DA NANG, Vietnam, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) sees that China's Belt and Road Initiative is important for the region's infrastructure development, according to an official of ABAC on Monday in Da Nang, Vietnam.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is very important in general. We (APEC economies) are looking for ways to promote the development of infrastructures through the APEC region. We welcome the initiative," said Anthony J.L. Nightingale, chair of ABAC's Connectivity Working Group, at ABAC's press conference.

ABAC concluded its fourth meeting on Monday. Business leaders believe that the Belt and Road Initiative will improve the regional connectivity, which is one of the twenty suggestions that ABAC made to the APEC economic leaders in a report to promote regional integration and remove protectionism barriers.

"ABAC continues to call on leaders to build upon the valuable template created by the APEC Connectivity Blueprint as a primary means of strengthening region-wide economic integration and inclusion, both within and between APEC economies," says the report.

In addition to supporting APEC's connectivity agenda, important topics like supporting the multilateral trading system, enabling a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), expanding MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises)'s access to finance and achieving food security are also among ABAC's suggestions.

Hoang Van Dung, the 2017 ABAC Chair, emphasized at the press conference that ABAC members were united in support for the rules-based global trading system looking ahead to December's WTO Ministerial Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

ABAC was created by APEC leaders in 1995. Each economy has three members and they meet four times a year to prepare for their recommendations to the APEC leaders.

The ABAC Dialogue with APEC Leaders will be held on Friday, which forms part of events during the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders' Week from Nov. 6 to Nov. 11.