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China chooses Auckland for business leaders' meeting

More than 250 business leaders from the Asia Pacific region will be in Auckland this coming week for a meeting of the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac).

Abac is chaired this year by China, which chose New Zealand as the host of the first of four annual meetings.

Abac is made up of three business people appointed by the governments of each of the 21 Apec economies.

New Zealand’s members are Tony Nowell, Maxine Simmons and Wayne Boyd, all prominent company directors.

Their task is to provide advice to Apec economic leaders on the trade and investment agenda, which includes sustainable development, financial issues, small-to-medium business and entrepreneurship, infrastructure and connectivity.

Other delegates include officials from Apec’s governments, who will hold parallel meetings.

The Chinese delegation is led by (Frank) Ning Gaoing, chairman of Cofco, that country's largest agribusiness.  He will also lead a 40-strong delegation of other representatives from other businesses in China.

BusinessNZ is the host organisation and the major sponsors are Fonterra and ANZ.

The Auckland Council, Air New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association are all sponsoring social events.

“This is an opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s sustainable production systems to an influential audience,” Fonterra chairman John Wilson says.

The meeting at The Lamgham will run from Wednesday to Friday.

Comments and questions

Private sector engagement is central to APEC's success. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), established in 1995, represents the interests of business in APEC. ABAC is composed of up to three members from each of the 21 member economies, with business representatives appointed by APEC Leaders. The annual APEC CEO Summit and regular Industry Dialogues also provide opportunities for regional business leaders to interact with APEC and address key issues affecting business in the region.
- the Aussies will be there ...

ABAC encourages business to make known its views on issues affecting the regional economy through their respective ABAC representatives. The latter are responsible for reflecting these views in ABAC deliberations. ABAC positions and recommendations are, in turn, communicated to APEC Leaders through the submission of an annual report and the holding of an annual dialogue. In addition, ABAC also participates and presents its views and recommendations to APEC through the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and the sectoral ministerial meetings, including those on trade, finance and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- the Chileans also ...
New Zealand's ABAC team

The Council meets four times a year to develop its report and recommendations on trade and investment liberalisation, which it submits to APEC Leaders at their annual Summit. ABAC conducts its work through a series of committees and working groups, addressing such issues as:
reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to regional trade and investment
strengthening domestic financial markets in the region
promoting greater transparency and best practice in corporate governance
championing the adoption of international standards
expediting business transactions through simplified customs procedures
assisting small businesses in accessing technology, financing and training

ABAC reports to and meets with APEC leaders and ministers in an annual dialogue. It uses the opportunity to deliver a strong and consistent message supporting the role of business in creating jobs, promoting greater prosperity and improving the lives of citizens throughout the Asia-Pacific. A high proportion of its recommendations are accepted by leaders and APEC governments.
For further information please contact or visit the main ABAC website.
About ABAC .

"The Chinese are also brining (sic) a large business delegation." Is this what these Chinese called the "salt of the earth" delegation?

Salted eggs, maybe.

They can all talk about the Bali Package and Pacific connectivity ...

The package includes provisions for lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies, ...

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened an informal session between leaders of some Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies and representatives of four non-APEC nations from the Pacific Islands on the sidelines of the 2013 APEC Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali on Tuesday. ... “We are all aware that connectivity with non-APEC nations is essential in pursuing the purposes and goals of APEC’s sustainable growth with equity. ...

APEC is currently developing an ambitious plan that will deepen and broaden the region’s connectivity around and across the Pacific Ocean and within APEC’s archipelagic and continental regions. It focuses on three pillars: physical connectivity, institutional connectivity, and people-to-people connectivity.

Perhaps they will talk about barriers to horticultural trade:
Other countries' tariffs on New Zealand's fruit and vegetables cost each of our 5400 growers $44,000 a year, according to a study out today. That was an increase of $10,000 on 2010, the horticulture industry's latest Trade Barriers Report says. The study says horticultural exporters paid an estimated $241 million in tariffs, an increase of 2.5 per cent on the 2010 figure of $235m. At the same time, export earnings increased by 6 per cent.
The Horticulture Export Authority and Horticulture New Zealand commission the biannual report with funding support from the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry. About 60 per cent of New Zealand's fruit and vegetables are exported, making just over $2.2 billion. "We are now reaping the benefit of great opportunities for trading in Asian countries, but there is a downside with that, because their tariffs can be considerably higher," HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock said. "That's why we need to continue our efforts on developing and signing free trade agreements." The study noted an unchanging trend for other countries to exploit the use of non-tariff trade barriers, known as SPS - sanitary and phytosanitary barriers - but did not include their effect. Horticulture Export Authority chief executive Simon Hegarty said these costs were greater than the cost of tariffs. They included compliance with quota restrictions, grade standards, fumigation requirements, additional product testing, plus labelling and packaging rules.