Asia-Pacific business forum to harness regional integration for equitable and sustainable growth

Asia-Pacific Business Forum 2012, “Advancing Regional Economic Integration: Connecting Business, Strengthening Partnerships"

Asia-Pacific business leaders and government policymakers, international aid and development agencies as well as civil society representatives will meet in the Malaysian capital next week to discuss how they can harness regional economic integration to promote economic growth that is equitable and sustainable.

Over 300 participants are expected at the ninth Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF) 2012 to be organized in Kuala Lumpur on 15 and 16 October by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) with support from the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

With the theme “Advancing Regional Economic Integration: Connecting Business, Strengthening Partnerships”, APBF 2012 is convened to discuss ways to facilitate business, trade and investment in the region, share best practices on deregulation and economic liberalization, and promote responsible investment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) of the Government of Malaysia are strategic partners of APBF 2012.

Special sessions will focus on the impact of regional and global integration on businesses in the region, enhancing business competitiveness through trade and investment liberalization, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), promoting responsible and sustainable business, non-traditional opportunities in business and investment, trade facilitation and developing regional supply chains and education training.

Participants will also identify ways to promote investments in least developed and landlocked countries as well as key business challenges and opportunities, particularly in less developed Asia-Pacific countries, arising from the AEC, and the negative and positive impacts of AEC on the business climate in ASEAN countries.

Business’ role in implementing the agreement by world leaders at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio+20) held in Brazil in June to balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions of growth will also be discussed. This includes identification of innovative practices and policies to support greener businesses while improving competitiveness.