There was plenty of activity at the October 5-7 APEC CEO Summit in Bali, Indonesia – not just as part of the summit agenda but also on the sidelines. APEC leaders released a final declaration restating their commitment to open trade in the region, as well as a special statement in support of the multilateral trading system.
As part of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson participated in several meetings with APEC economy leaders and ministers, including Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, and Koya Nishikawa, Japan’s coordinator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.
Also included were meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. Many USCIB members participated in the meetings and had the chance to raise important trade issues with the officials, according to Justine Badimon, USCIB’s director of regional affairs, who accompanied Robinson to the summit. The TPP trade talks were the focus of much discussion, and leaders of the TPP nations released their own statement saying negotiations are on track toward completion.
“We were pleased to see commitments by APEC member economies in several important areas, including advancement of TPP and working within the WTO to open global markets to trade, and especially in concluding a trade facilitation agreement,” Robinson stated.
Prior to the summit, USCIB issued a statement on priority issues for APEC in 2014, when its rotating host duties passes to China.
Robinson also took part in an event on women’s economic empowerment, hosted by Wal-mart, on the margins of the summit. He provided an overview of a BIAC Survey on gender equality and the work that USCIB is doing on this issue in the OECD.
“This has been a great opportunity to meet with many of our members based here in the Asia-Pacific and to work alongside our coalition partners,” said Robinson. “USCIB is committed to our work in APEC and looks forward to carrying on our member’s priorities into the China year.”
Noted at the summit was the absence of President Obama, who cancelled his Asia visit in light of the U.S. government shutdown, and who was represented by Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry made clear that APEC remains an important forum for the United States and commended APEC for its partnership with the business community to address the economic issues of the region.
Kerry also raised climate change and energy as being major issues to address next year and called on APEC to be a leader in this discussion. The 2013 APEC CEO Summit concluded with Chinese President Xi Jinping inviting all APEC economies to come to Beijing for the 2014 CEO Summit.
Staff contact: Justine Badimon