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Auckland to host gathering of Asia Pacific business leaders

Media release
5 February 2014

Auckland to host major gathering of Asia Pacific business leaders

Leading New Zealand businesses are joining with the New Zealand Government to welcome over 250 business leaders from the Asia Pacific region when Auckland hosts a meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) 11-14 February.

“We intend to give our guests a warm kiwi welcome and use this meeting to advance New Zealand’s critical interests in the region,” said Phil O’Reilly, CEO of BusinessNZ, which is acting as host organization for the meeting.

Major sponsors of the gathering are Fonterra and ANZ. ATEED/Auckland Council, Air New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association are all sponsoring social events and a range of other business organisations are joining in support.

“This is an opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s sustainable production systems to an influential audience. Key customers from China and around the Asia Pacific region are attending along with a number of highly influential business people,” said John Wilson, Chairman of Fonterra.

ABAC brings together three members appointed by the Heads of Government of APEC’s 21 member economies. New Zealand’s members are Tony Nowell, Maxine Simmons and Wayne Boyd. ABAC’s task is to provide advice to APEC Economic Leaders on APEC’s trade and investment agenda. China is hosting APEC in 2014 and a delegation of senior Chinese business leaders is also attending the Auckland meeting.

“China is assuming the chair of APEC as the region accelerates its economic growth. The ABAC meeting occurs as New Zealand emerges as a strong performer on the world economic stage. This, and our growing connections with key economies across the region, give New Zealand an important opportunity to influence APEC’s direction in a critical year,” said David Green, ANZ’s Managing Director Institutional and an Executive Board Member of the NZ China Council.

ABAC’s agenda takes in trade and investment, sustainable development, financial issues, SME and entrepreneurship, infrastructure and connectivity.

“ABAC’s first meeting for 2014 is the chance to set the agenda for the year ahead as we look for progress on a range of critical issues including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), food security, foreign direct investment and SME growth,” concluded Tony Nowell, New Zealand member of ABAC.

Note for editors – a background note is attached.

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