Press conference: APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) - Friday

Tuesday 11 February 2014, 3:32PM
By Business NZ

Media representatives are invited to attend a closing press conference for the meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which is taking place in Auckland this week.

ABAC members from APEC’s 21 member economies will have been discussing key issues related to the region’s growing economic strength, trade and investment, including the outlook for trade negotiations such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), food security, infrastructure, innovation, women’s entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.

Speakers at the press conference will include Mr Frank Ning, ABAC Chair, Mr Tony Nowell, ABAC New Zealand as well as the chairs of ABAC working groups.

The press conference will be held on 14 February from 2.00-2.45 pm in the Waiheke Boardroom of the Langham Hotel in Auckland.

Interested media are invited to register for attendance by contacting Kathryn Asare at BusinessNZ –


New Zealand is hosting a meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Auckland in February 2014. Around 250 participants including senior business leaders and senior officials from APEC’s 21 economies are expected to attend. A delegation of senior Chinese business leaders will also participate as China chairs APEC in 2014.


APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation) is the region’s leading inter-governmental forum for economic co-operation. 21 economies from the Asia Pacific are members. APEC Leaders meet annually to free up trade and investment, promote economic growth and set the economic direction for the region.

ABAC is the principal source of business advice to APEC Economic Leaders. Three business leaders from each of APEC’s 21 economies plus accompanying staff will attend the Auckland meeting.

China chairs APEC in 2014. ABAC China has specifically sought New Zealand’s assistance to host ABAC’s first meeting for 2014. ABAC China also proposes to bring a delegation of senior Chinese business representatives to New Zealand to attend the event. APEC senior officials from the 21 member economies will meet in Auckland at the same time, ensuring that the Auckland event will be a unique meeting point for government and business.

The ABAC meeting and associated events will be held at the Langham Hotel in Auckland 11- 14 February 2014. ABAC New Zealand has invited BusinessNZ to act as host organization for these events and provide co-ordination for the week’s activities.

Understanding the opportunity

Hosting an event of this significance can be expected to attract wide commercial interest, providing a means to continue to consolidate New Zealand’s economic and commercial relationship with China and more broadly with other APEC economies.

Recognising this opportunity, the New Zealand Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is providing a substantial proportion of the funding required. Auckland Council is also strongly supportive and through the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), is playing a leading role in welcoming our guests. ANZ and Fonterra are major commercial sponsors of the ABAC events and ATEED, Air New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association are co-hosting social events. A range of other businesses and business organizations are providing financial support also.

The intention of the organizers is to ensure the maximum leverage is gained and the maximum advantage created for the New Zealand business community. The Conference Company has been appointed to manage the event.

About ABAC

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) was created by APEC Economic Leaders in 1995 to give them advice on business sector priorities. Each APEC economy is represented by up to three members of the private sector, appointed by their respective political leaders. They represent a range of business sectors, from the very large to small and medium enterprises, and include leaders of some of the region’s leading companies.

ABAC meets four times a year in different locations around the Asia Pacific region. The final meeting each year coincides with the APEC Leaders Summit when ABAC members brief the APEC Leaders in person on key business issues and priorities.

The ABAC New Zealand team comprises Tony Nowell, Maxine Simmons, Wayne Boyd together with Stephen Jacobi (Alternate Member) and Fiona Cooper Clarke (Lead Staffer). The New Zealand International Business Forum ( provides advice and support to the New Zealand members of ABAC.

The Chairman of ABAC for 2014 is Mr (Frank) Ning Gaoning, Chairman of COFCO, the largest supplier of agricultural and food products and associated services in China.

About the Chinese delegation

In preparation for its year as APEC Chair, the Chinese Government has established an APEC China Business Council (ACBC), which comprises around 100 leading Chinese companies.

ACBC has invited a delegation to travel to Auckland for ABAC I with the 2014 ABAC Chair Mr Ning. The delegation will seek to raise New Zealand business sector interest in the APEC CEO Summit 2014 in China; explore opportunities for business between China and New Zealand to work together and take part in a Forum organisded by the New Zealand China Council to explore opportunities for trade and investment. The opportunity will also be taken to set up individual business meetings for these companies.