Businessmen in the Philippines called on their counterparts in Asia Pacific to work closely with their governments to develop policies that support continuing worker skill development and greater access to technology that would enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) produce competitive products and services and profitably offer them to established value chains and bigger markets.
Tomas Alcatraz, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines president noted much work remains to be done not only in communicating the benefits of globalization and in ensuring these benefits are much more broadly shared and felt.
ABAC, the private sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, had its first meeting for the year last month in Bangkok, Thailand where it noted the need to communicate more effectively the benefits of globalization and address its adverse impacts.
ABAC reinforced the importance of ongoing regional and multilateral cooperation and collaboration among economies, which has facilitated stability and greater coordination of economic and social development amongst economies.
“As business leaders, we know that globalization and open trade and investment create wealth and have lifted millions out of poverty. The legitimate objectives of globalization, namely dismantling barriers to trade thereby allowing consumers access to better and cheaper products and services are laudable. But an equally important objective of globalization must center on enabling a more socially inclusive growth and development,” said Alcantara.
ABAC also strongly welcomes the entry into force of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), a new global agreement designed to help trade flow more freely will lower costs for business and help to raise living standards across the Asia-Pacific region.
The agreement was concluded by WTO Members at the Bali WTO Ministerial Meeting in 2013. Two-thirds of the WTO Membership must ratify the TFA before it can begin to be implemented, and that threshold has just been reached.