Wed, 16 Jul 2003

APEC business leaders to meet in Bali

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Top business leaders from APEC economies will gather in Bali from July 30 through Aug. 2 to boost cooperation on trade and investment liberalization.

Top officials from world-class companies like FedEx, Fuji Xerox and Cemex are among prominent business leaders invited to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting.

"Besides various important topics to be discussed in the meeting, we see the event as an effective vehicle for attracting foreign investors back (to Indonesia)," Palgunadi T. Setyanto, a member of ABAC Indonesia told a media briefing on Tuesday.

"If the event is successfully arranged, the participating businesspeople will be our 'ambassadors', who can announce that Indonesia is a good place to do business," he added.

ABAC represents business communities from 21 APEC countries, and is tasked with advising economic leaders in each country regarding trade and investment liberalization. ABAC was founded by APEC economic leaders in 1995.

ABAC meetings are usually organized prior to APEC meetings to give recommendations to economic leaders on liberalization and globalization issues from a business perspective.

For this year, ABAC organized three meetings: in Peru, in March; in Tokyo, May; and in Indonesia, July, prior to the APEC summit meeting in Bangkok in October 2003.

Palgunadi said that the July ABAC meeting's agenda was to discuss progress on the trade and investment liberalization drive in the region and issues regarding global financial stability.

"For example, so far, there are no regulations controlling the financial world. The situation has proven to be disastrous: As you may remember, financial instability was the issue that triggered the Asian economic crisis," he said.

"We need to establish a working group to create financial stability," he said.