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APEC business leaders gather in Hong Kong

TradeSustainabilityESGGreen industry

ABAC members discussed a range of business priorities, including sustainable global supply chains.


The second 2024 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Meeting, led by ABAC Peru Chair Julia Torreblanca, held wide-ranging discussions on diverse business issues, from trade and investment facilitation to digital transformation and sustainability.

Co-organised by ABAC Hong Kong, China and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the four-day gathering was attended by over 200 ABAC delegates and staffers from all 21 APEC member economies.

On day one of the gathering, HKTDC Chairman Peter K N Lam gave opening remarks at the APEC China Business Council Hong Kong Forum, which spotlighted sustainable global supply chains.

Reflecting on Hong Kong’s status as a leading logistics, maritime and aviation hub, Dr Lam said: “As superconnector between Mainland China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong is uniquely placed to not only facilitate international trade and investment, but also drive the development of sustainable global supply chains.”

Hong Kong’s robust infrastructure, first-rate port facilities and ever-expanding maritime services support the continued growth of the city’s logistics and maritime industries.

Hong Kong International Airport remains a major air cargo hub, handling millions of tonnes of goods annually. In 2023, it was once again the busiest air cargo handler in the world.

The logistics, maritime and aviation industries enjoy strong Hong Kong SAR Government support. In regard to strengthening the city’s status as a leading maritime centre, Dr Lam added: “The Hong Kong SAR Government published an action plan last December, setting out strategies to develop Hong Kong as a green shipping hub, facilitate smart port development and strengthen our maritime services cluster, to reinforce our city’s position as an international maritime hub.”

Dr Lam also pointed out that the drive to decarbonise the aviation industry will enable economies to achieve their net-zero target, and Hong Kong is focused on promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Hong Kong has been investing heavily in innovation to develop into an international innovation and technology hub, as part of its eight-centre strategy outlined in China’s 14th Five-Year Plan.

Among other initiatives, it is focused on building a digital economy and fostering the smart development and sustainability of the logistics sector.

In closing, Dr Lam urged meeting participants to innovate: “As the global economy becomes more digital, supply chains need to be reimagined. They need to be smarter, to make them more robust and sustainable in a changing world.”

Following the four-day meeting, ABAC Chair Julia Torreblanca from Peru said that, guided by their theme of “People. Business. Prosperity.” the Council developed a set of recommendations that  strengthen global supply chains, revitalise the strategy for the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific advance digital and greener trade and more.

ABAC will present these recommendations to Ministers Responsible for Trade, when they meet next month in Peru.

ABAC, the private sector arm of APEC established in 1996, advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and presents recommendations to APEC leaders in an annual dialogue. ABAC meets four times a year.

It will convene its next meeting in August in Tokyo.

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