Caterpillar Construction Industries Group President Ed Rapp recently attended the fourth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting and APEC CEO Summit held in Bali, Indonesia.
Themed "Towards Resilience and Growth: Reshaping Priorities for Global Economy", the APEC CEO Summit was focused on realizing inclusive sustainable development and shared development in the region. Caterpillar's primary engagement in ABAC has been focused on sustainable development - infrastructure development and regional economic integration that promote free trade and the investment climate necessary to achieve sustained economic growth and prosperity in the region.
Although issues discussed at this year's Summit ranged from supporting a multilateral trading system and attaining the Bogor goals to promoting sustainable growth with equity- infrastructure and connectivity took center stage as it is one of the most critical components to build a solid foundation to support future growth.
"We drove the issue of the need for improved infrastructure in the APEC region hard at this year's Summit," explains Rapp. "The primary driver for growth in the region is urbanization. As that population pursues a higher standard of living, as they push to develop a consumer society, it's going to be a huge source of growth, and the build-out of infrastructure that has to occur as Asia Pacific urbanizes is going to provide a tremendous platform for growth."
A positive outcome at this year's Summit, was ABAC's endorsement of the Infrastructure Check List project to boost infrastructure development this year. The checklist basically provides a venue for countries to focus attention and resources on expanding infrastructure.
Rapp says that infrastructure has largely been an initiative that Caterpillar continues to drive and one that has been strongly supported by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). With an estimated $8 trillion needed for infrastructure development in Asia Pacific by 2020 according to the Asian Development Bank, attracting and retaining investment is a top priority.
The National Center for APEC joined with NAM and ABAC to develop a report entitled "Attracting and Harnessing Infrastructure FDI to Secure Lasting Economic Growth." The report highlights how diverse government institutions and areas of policy need to be coordinated to facilitate successful foreign direct investment (FDI) in infrastructure in close cooperation with the private sector (PPP - Public Private Partnership).
According to Rapp, infrastructure development is now singled out as one of APEC's priorities to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity, reflecting the on-going efforts and contribution to promote free trade and investment and sustainable development of APEC region.
Click here to learn more from Ed Rapp on business growth and opportunities for infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.