Remarks to APEC capacity building workshop on global data standards Qingdao, 9 May 2014 Stephen Jacobi, ABAC New Zealand

by | May 9, 2014 | Speeches

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Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) at the opening of this important workshop.

ABAC has been meeting in Santiago this week and on behalf of colleagues I would like to congratulate Hong Kong and New Zealand, along with the APEC Chair, for taking the initiative to organize this event.

ABAC is a strong believer in the potential for global data standards to improve supply chain connectivity and enhance supply chain performance.

That is of particular importance today as global supply and value chains are playing an increasingly important role in regional trade.

We need supply chains to work smarter, faster and more effectively if we are to maximize the contribution of trade to economic growth and to achieve regional economic integration.

That’s why in its advice to Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting in Qingdao next week ABAC has commended APEC for the work programme now underway.

Today’s workshop represents an opportunity for more economies to become aware of the contribution that can be made by global data standards and to paint a picture of how global data standards can actually work.

I’m pleased to see today’s agenda includes contribution from both business and governments and highlights the relevance of global data standards for APEC’s trade facilitation and customs co-operation agendas as well as drawing on best practice in the region and beyond.

Global data standards can provide benefits for both business and governments and help APEC achieve or even exceed the goal of a 10% reduction in supply chain costs.

Hopefully too the discussion today will help develop our thinking about next steps with this initiative and lead into the trade policy dialogue that will be held at SOM III.

One of the outcomes that ABAC hopes will be achieved is to encourage more economies to share best practice and take up opportunities to develop “living labs” or real life projects that can help the region move towards mutual complementarity of data standards.

We need to adopt a “learning by doing” approach – practical projects will help us both to understand the potential of global data standards as well as see what success could look like.

This underscores an important point that I hope you will all bear in mind today ? when it comes to achieving lofty goals like REI or the Bogor goals or FTAAP, ABAC is interested in ideas that work, that can make a real difference to business being done.

Many years ago APEC conceived the APEC Business Travel Card as a means to facilitate trade.

Today we have the opportunity to see global data standards in the same light – not as an artificial concept, or a policy goal, but a practical tool to get the business done.

In coming months I expect you will be hearing more from your economy’s ABAC members about the importance attach to this project.

You can expect us to continue to advocate for progress on this initiative in our advice to Ministers and senior officials and in this year’s annual report to Leaders.

Your involvement today is indicative of the way that ABAC and APEC can work together on a relevant, meaningful and practical agenda to expand trade and investment for the benefit of citizens in our region.

On behalf of ABAC I’m pleased to welcome you to this workshop and to encourage you in your deliberations today.

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