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Business CEOs - APEC Stop Acting Start Performing

Representatives of New Zealand business responsible for the APEC CEO Summit have set some early benchmarks, which if met, they believe will signal some success from this year’s APEC meeting in Auckland.

Firstly, they are seeking a strong commitment from the Trade Ministers that APEC will better promote its successes to the public and agree to press on with the APEC agenda.

The Summit Board urges ministers participating in this APEC meeting not to grandstand when in the world spotlight, then renege on agreed APEC principles when captured by their home lobbies on returning to their respective communities.

Secondly, the CEO Summit would expect to see an extension of the emphasis from improving APEC economies to ensuring that the benefits are not only understood but relevant to communities within APEC.

In the past, APEC emphasis has been on economies rather than communities. The outcome of this has been the development of a them and us mentality and a belief by the public that business would exploit resources. The CEO Summit group does not concur with this belief but acknowledges that if business is to consolidate on the gains and press forward, it must demonstrate by its conduct that its actions are good for business and good for the community in which it operates.

Finally, the business representatives consider that in the Minister’s enthusiasm to acknowledge the apparent recovery in the Asian economies they do not lose sight of the issues and underlying causes of the crisis.

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As with the APEC agenda, the emphasis must remain on sustainable growth. This may mean that business may have to modify its passion for growth and ensure that the appropriate governance and conduct processes are in place in order that such a crisis never occurs in the APEC region again.

The APEC CEO Summit is a meeting of more than 250 of the most senior leaders of business in the Asia and Pacific region. Organised by members of the New Zealand business community, it is being held in Auckland at the same time as the APEC Leaders meeting to provide independent debate on where APEC should be heading and the economic consequences of globalisation.

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