Dodwell's blog on SOM2 Qingdao - Post 1

May 20, 2014

Meeting issues

Forgive the recent blog silence. A couple of issues have muddied the waters. First, since ABAC no longer has an Action Plan and Advocacy Working Group, of which Anthony Nightingale was chair and I the lead staffer, I no longer have “standing” to attend and report back on Senior Official meetings. I now attend, but really only out of habit and nosiness.
Second – and more material – terrible calendar clashes between our ABAC2 meetings in Santiago Chile, and the first ten days of Senior Official cluster meetings meant that none of us ABACers were able to get to Qingdao for the SOM2 cluster until close to the end of the cluster. Awkward and frustrating to have missed so much, and to be so rushed at the end of the cluster to catch up. It was also challenging for us to fly 30-35 hours back from Santiago to Qingdao without our brains being somewhat numbed.
But this is all excuses. The SOM cluster is now done, ABAC2 is now done, and the least we must do is provide a summary of key outcomes from Qingdao – so we can prepare effectively for ABAC3 in Seattle early in July, and ensure we input effectively to the various APEC meetings now being arranged to prepare for the 10 ministerials being organized by Beijing this year.
So over the next few days I plan to provide a series of very short notes summarizing key outcomes from Qingdao on issues of key interest to business. I am sure I will miss some stuff, so don’t hesitate to get back to me with supplementary questions. Between myself and the other ABAC staffers attending the meetings later in the cluster, we should be adequately equipped to bring you up to date. Xia Bing, ABAC Executive Director for China’s chairmanship year, should be particularly well placed. When in doubt, defer to him.
Among the issues I will aim to cover:
  • The China-US armwrestling over regional integration, in particular the pathway to the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific
  • The ABAC Services agenda, in particular linked with this year’s hot topic – Global Value Chains
  • PPFS and optimising business engagement in APEC
  • Managing the movement of labour
  • APFF developments, including the Asia Funds Passport initiative
  • Asia Funds Passport: meeting in Korea in June – need urgent meeting with SFC and Finance Bureau
  • Developments on APEC Business Travel Card: US to join from June 12
  • APEC austerity: funding shortages for 80% of proposed APEC projects
  • And maybe a quick round-up of the month ahead, and the APEC year starts to get really busy into July
This will all start tomorrow. Again, apologies for the delay.

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