Takeways from the APCAC Business Summit

AmCham Taipei President William Foreman recently attended a two-day business summit in Hong Kong organized by the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC).  The group represents AmChams across the region.

The summit is an annual event that attracts CEOs, diplomats, government officials and other key influencers. This year’s theme was: “The Future of U.S. Trade and Investment in Asia.”

Over the course of two days, the program was packed with keynote speeches and numerous panel discussions. Here are just a few key takeaways:

  • Don’t believe the headlines. The U.S. is not in retreat in the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. companies are still trading and investing here more than any other country.
  • American companies are still the key standard setters that promote openness, transparency, fair markets and growth driven by the private sector.
  • We’re not seeing the end of globalization. We’re just seeing it evolve.
  • China is catching up fast. It’s investment has quadrupled over the past five years. China has an advantage because it has a plan, a long-term vision. The U.S. needs one.
  • Developed nations are struggling to find a way to compete with China’s model of state-driven capitalism. Often, openness is a handicap when going up against China Inc.
  • Eventually, there will be some kind of U.S.-China trade deal. When that happens, the focus in the relationship will shift to the next big theme: technology.
  • Many of the headlines (and tweets) coming out of Washington are discouraging. But now it’s more important than ever to get engaged with AmCham to change the conversation. If you don’t, you’ll be even more disappointed.

Next year’s APCAC summit will be in Singapore. And, it will definitely be a must-attend event for the Chamber!

U.S. Permanently Authorizes APEC Business Travel Card

Following successful lobbying by APCAC (the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce), the U.S. Congress recently passed legislation to permanently authorize the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC). Aimed at facilitating business travel for U.S. citizens and government officials engaged in verified business in the APEC region, the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card enables access to fast-track immigration lanes at airports in the 21 APEC member economies. Users of the APEC Business Travel Card must also be participating in a Customs and Border Patrol trusted traveler program. APEC Business Travel Card users enjoy pre-cleared, facilitated, short-term entry to participating member economies, reducing costs and waiting times.

For more information on the APEC Business Travel Card, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

APCAC Appeals to Congressional Leadership to Approve TPP by Year’s End

Signed by 25 American Chambers of Commerce in Asia-Pacific, a letter demonstrating unprecedented unity and urgency was addressed to the Leadership of the U.S. Congress urging them to ratify the TPP agreement before the end of 2016.

APCAC’s collective membership represents more than 15,000 companies, 50,000 overseas American workers, and annual trade and investment volumes exceeding US$600 billion.

The letter highlights five key areas that TPP would address, enabling U.S. companies to compete against formidable Asian and European multinationals in the Asia-Pacific Region:

  1. Improving market share in Asian markets and supply chains
  2. Equalizing existing disadvantages from Asian Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s)
  3. Eliminating barriers that undermine U.S. innovations and standards
  4. Protecting opportunities in emerging markets
  5. Enhancing opportunities to shape positive outcomes.

Click here to read and download the full letter.