On July 22-25, as Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Sustainable Development Working Group in 2019, Chairman Frank Ning headed for Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province to attend the 3rd ABAC Meeting in 2019 and chaired the ABAC Sustainable Development Working Group Meeting. During the meeting, Chairman Frank Ning delivered important speeches on a number of occasions.
Over 240 business and industry delegates and APEC officials from 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed and approved the letters and reports submitted by ABAC members to the APEC economic leaders. Following that, preliminary arrangements were made for the dialogue between APEC economic leaders and ABAC members to be held in Chile in November.
At the opening ceremony of the 3rd ABAC Meeting, Chairman Frank Ning pointed out that connectivity is vital for both government and business community. He recommended that it should be included in the letter of the ABAC members to the APEC economic leaders. Connectivity is not just a data connection, but also infrastructure, such as railway, aviation, shipping and other transportation facilities. It can effectively facilitate trade and investment and free movement of labor and optimize allocation. In addition, Chairman Frank Ning led members to discuss in depth the important topic of the conference - "Global Climate Change." Chairman Frank Ning stated that the current climate change is a recognized fait accompli of all parties. There is still tremendous room for improvement in energy conservation and emission reduction in the Asia-Pacific region. Many companies are also exploring economically feasible ways to reduce emissions. Businesses should be disciplined, take the initiative to reduce emissions, assuming social responsibilities. Chairman Frank Ning stressed that the industrial and commercial sector should conduct systematic and in-depth research and contribute ideas and suggestions. At the same time, the governments of the Asia-Pacific region should also create a better policy environment for energy conservation and emission reduction, focusing on practical and feasible policies, scheming multi-dimensional market mechanism, encouraging enterprises to comply with regulations to guarantee more fair market competition.
At the Sustainable Development Working Group Meeting, Chairman Frank Ning submitted a proposal for Action and Policy Recommendations for Business Community to Address Climate Change. The proposal focused on the gap between the status and objectives of global control of greenhouse gas emissions, and emphasized that the business community should follow the market and economic laws to carry out practical and feasible actions on the front line of energy conservation and emission reduction. In addition, the proposal cited advanced European companies as benchmark to expound the reasons for the lack of sustainability and constraints on energy conservation and emission reduction in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the proposal, government is advised to guide the construction of energy-saving networks, drive promotion of energy-saving technologies, explore ways to propel carbon trading and low-carbon products market and support development of new energy and green finance. At the meeting, Chairman Frank Ning led discussions on “Climate Change,” “Circular Economy” and “Smart City” among other topics.
At the APEC Senior Officials and ABAC Members Breakfast Meeting that themed on “APEC Post-2020 Vision,” Chairman Frank Ning noted that the business community not only represents the interests, but also the beliefs and philosophy. When it comes to discussing the future, the business community must understand and support the basic values of free trade, openness and inclusiveness, and it should be particularly explicit to communicate these values to the government and the outside world.
At the Closing Ceremony and Press Conference of the event, Chairman Frank Ning emphasized that the negative impacts of climate change are aggravating. Global temperature and sea level are rising. Extreme weathers are more frequently occurring. These are the problems that the whole society should pay attention to. The business community calls on governments to establish more equitable, transparent and market-oriented policy environment, explore and improve the carbon trading system, help making the energy-saving and emission reduction of the business community more motivated and sustainable. At the same time, in the face of climate change, no country can be immune to it. It needs cooperation among countries to address this global issue. The business community hopes to see governments work together to conclude a more binding, comprehensive and feasible climate change agreement. When it comes to the topic of "The Role of Chinese Business Community in APEC Cooperation," Chairman Frank Ning pointed out that the Chinese business community is naturally very willing to trade with other countries and promote trade liberalization, globalization and regional integration. Meanwhile, the Chinese business community should adopt more flexible means of operation, abide by and integrate into the rules of international trade and investment, and continue to support the WTO-based multilateral trade and investment system. On the other hand, he believes that the existing system should keep pace with the times, carrying out necessary rational reforms.