The Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) remains the preeminent economic priority for the Asia-Pacific business community.
Submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION (APEC 2021) BILL
This submission is made on behalf of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF), whose members are listed at Annex A. NZIBF is a forum of senior business leaders working together to promote New Zealand’s engagement in the global economy. NZIBF provides policy advice and support to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
NZIBF supports the objectives of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC 2021) Bill (“the Bill”). NZIBF attaches considerable importance to the hosting of a successful APEC Leaders’ Week in Auckland in November 2021 and believes the Bill’s provisions are necessary to hold a successful meeting.
About the New Zealand International Business Forum
NZIBF provides a voice to articulate the needs and priorities of New Zealand’s international business community, and in particular the importance of open markets, to the New Zealand Government and public stakeholders. The NZIBF Board brings together leaders from amongst New Zealand’s largest internationally oriented companies, several of which actively trade in the ASEAN region, and peak business organisations representing many exporters of all sizes engaged in trade with ASEAN member countries. (A list of Board Members is in Annex A.)
Incorporated in May 2007, NZIBF works with companies, business organisations and government agencies to implement projects in the international trade and economic sphere, including working to develop New Zealand’s key international business relationships and conducting research relative to New Zealand’s competitiveness. NZIBF receives no direct government funding for its operating budget but from time to time receives funding for jointly-funded projects. Funding in respect to the policy advice and support which NZIBF provides to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is provided by both MFAT and NZIBF.
The importance of APEC
APEC is the premier inter-governmental forum for promoting economic integration and more open, sustainable and inclusive trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region. Although APEC is a voluntary and non-binding organisation, it is an important incubator for ideas that later become adopted in binding free trade agreements. APEC provides an important forum for discussion and co-operation on key issues and capacity building for the region’s developing economies. New Zealand has long paid a key role in APEC, recognising the importance of APEC’s influence on both the regional and global agenda.
NZIBF’s belief in the importance of APEC is reflected in the policy advice and support it provides to the three members of ABAC. NZIBF has performed this role since 2009 with costs shared between NZIBF and MFAT. In anticipation of New Zealand’s hosting year in 2021, these arrangements have recently been expanded to enable New Zealand Members to discharge their responsibilities in chairing ABAC.
Chairing APEC and ABAC in 2021 will provide a number of benefits in terms of being able to influence the agenda for integration in the region, showcasing New Zealand expertise and capabilities and developing new business opportunities. It is important that New Zealand delivers a memorable and impactful series of events in 2021 culminating in APEC Leaders’ Week.
The provisions in the Bill
The provisions in this Bill cover security and logistical matters which in the assessment of NZIBF are critical for ensuring a successful APEC Leaders’ Week. APEC Leaders’ Week in November 2021 will be the largest inter-governmental conference ever hosted in New Zealand. The arrangements especially in relation to the Leaders of the 21 APEC economies and their staff will be necessarily complex and challenging. This requires amendments to a number of legislative requirements and regulatory practices as outlined in the Bill.
Recommendations to the Committee
NZIBF recommends that the Committee:
- note the NZIBF’s support for holding APEC Leaders’ Week in New Zealand in November 2021
- note NZIBF’s support for the provisions outlined in the Bill.
For further information
Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, NZ International Business Forum
Phone: 0294 725 502
NZ International Business Forum
NZIBF BOARD MEMBERS
Malcolm Bailey (Chair), Chair, Dairy Companies’ Association of New Zealand
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (representing the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce)
Bruce Cameron, Chairman, Zespri International Ltd
Philip Gregan, Chief Executive, NZ Winegrowers
Kirk Hope, Chief Executive, Business NZ
John Loughlin, Chairman, Meat Industry Association
Sam McIvor, Chief Executive, Beef + Lamb NZ
Alan Pollard, Chief Executive, NZ Apples and Pears
Hon Simon Power, General Manager, Consumer Banking and Wealth, Westpac
Katherine Rich, Chief Executive, NZ Food and Grocery Council
Sarah Salmond, Special Counsel/Head of International Trade, Minter Ellison
Tim Silverstone, General Counsel and General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Sealord Group
Simon Tucker, Director, Global Stakeholder Affairs, Fonterra Co-operative Group
NZIBF’s membership comprises a range of associate members who are listed on our website, www.tradeworks.org.nz.
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