How ABAC works

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) brings together 21 diverse economies to share knowledge, best-practice and capacity building.  APEC is a voluntary and non-binding inter-governmental forum. Cooperation and collaboration are central to the way APEC works. New Zealand is chairing APEC in 2021 and for the first time will do so virtually.  The APEC Secretariat is located in Singapore.


The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) was created by APEC Economic Leaders in 1995 to be the business voice in APEC.  Each economy has three Members who are appointed by their respective Leaders. They normally meet four times a year to prepare their Report to the Leaders which is then discussed in a Dialogue that is a key event during the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. ABAC NZ publishes regular reports on these meetings which can be seen here.  The ABAC Secretariat is located in Manila.


APEC member economies are vital economic partners for New Zealand, normally taking around 73 percent of our exports and accounting for 70 percent of our imports.  

Fourteen of our top 20 export markets are APEC members, including the three largest economies in the world (the United States, China and Japan). 

Eighteen of our 19 FTAs are with APEC partners.

ABAC has in the past helped achieve a number of ‘wins’ for business, including:

the APEC Business Travel Card – removing significant obstacles for business people travelling around the region

ABAC has in the past helped achieve a number of ‘wins’ for business, including:

support for open markets in the Asia Pacific – including the concept of a “Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific”

the creation of the APEC Food System – using freer food trade to support food security goals

enhanced supply-chain connectivity – to reduce business costs and help trade flow more efficiently

principles for dealing with non-tariff barriers – important in helping to lower costs and remove inequities for exporters.

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