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APEC’s Women Business Leaders Making a Difference

The ABAC Women’s Forum comprises senior women executives from around the APEC region who are working to promote policy recommendations that enhance opportunities for women in business, and inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

Leveraging the unique advisory and policy advocacy role that the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) plays within the APEC structure, the ABAC Women’s Forum aims to reinforce policy mechanisms that advance the gender issue.The group was established at the start of 2011.

Strengthening the Voice of Women in APEC

Women are increasingly seen as a policy priority for greater economic inclusion, and APEC’s Leaders have recognized the importance of partnership and participation of women in realizing economic growth and prosperity. The contribution by women to the economy is well documented, but the opportunities afforded to women entrepreneurs remain limited in many economies. APEC is clearly looking to reduce those barriers for women.

Read Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech at the inaugural Women in the Economy Summit giving the business case for women’s participation in the economy here.

The United States, APEC host for 2011, placed women high on its APEC agenda, and with ABAC chaired by a woman for the first time, it was the right time to create a new movement within ABAC that could strengthen the voice of women in the APEC region.

At the first meeting of the new APEC Policy Partnership for Women in the Economy (PPWE) during the Women in the Economy Summit in San Francisco in September 2011, the request by the ABAC Women’s Forum for a seat at the table of the PPWE, separate from the seat already assigned to ABAC, was endorsed and included in the PPWE Terms of Reference. More information on the APEC PPWE may be found on the APEC website here, and documents from the meeting may be downloaded here.

Read more about the ABAC Women’s Forum mission and messages from the current ABAC Women’s Forum Chair and the ABAC Chair 2011.

About the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) was created by the APEC Economic Leaders in November 1995 to provide advice from the perspective of the business sector on policy priorities and areas of cooperation. Up to three members of the private sector from each economy are appointed to ABAC, representing a range of business sectors. Meeting quarterly, ABAC plays a unique role as the sole business organization within the APEC structure, enabling the business world in Asia-Pacific to have a real say in government-level policy matters. Learn more.

About Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum that aims to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity across the 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment. Learn more.