NUSTAR Convention Center, Cebu City
July 28, 2023

Acknowledging the business sector as a major contributor and most aggressive agent of change to a nation’s economy, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. keynoted the opening ceremony of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council or ABAC III Meeting at the NUSTAR Convention Center in Cebu City.

“Last year, we established the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) to strengthen the voice and contributions of the private sector in government programs and initiatives in order to expedite the achievement of our economic objectives, in recognition of the pivotal role of the business sector in the country’s growth trajectory,” the President said.

He welcomed the recommendations of ABAC in its 2022 Report to APEC Economic Leaders that includes fostering a sustainable and resilient food system, as well as health systems and climate change, by enabling a meaningful and effective partnership with the private sector.

Citing a recent study by McKinsey that revealed the business sector contributing up to 72 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and companies accounting for 85 percent of technology investment and labor productivity growth, he urged the private sector to address today’s global challenges of climate change, ocean waste and pollution, shift to clean energy and smart city agglomeration in a sustainable and resilient manner.

“Opportunities abound for our people if APEC preserves its strength as an incubator of ideas, driven in large part by the significant contributions of ABAC and the dynamism of the business community in this region. We have proven this in some of our agreements that have made their way to the multilateral trading system,” President Marcos Jr. stated.

“To this end, digitalization and innovation continue to provide an enabling environment for our (1) regional economic integration through the use of tools to bridge the digital divide and narrow the development gap, (2) just, inclusive and sustainable transition by upskilling our workforce and providing green jobs, and (3) strengthening structural reforms and macroeconomic fundamentals by promoting positive economic shifts,” the Chief Executive reiterated.

The three-day ABAC III Meeting is anchored on the theme, ‘Equity, Sustainability and Opportunity’, with the Philippines serving as host country from 27-30 July 2023.