Monday, 14th September, 2015

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), a grouping of senior business leaders appointed by governments around the Asia-Pacific region, meets regularly to consider how to foster the best opportunities for business and economies more broadly in the region.  (The New Zealand ABAC Members are Tony Nowell, Katherine Rich and Wayne Boyd, and Alternate Member Stephen Jacobi supported by Stephanie Honey).   ABAC’s work is undertaken in parallel with the governmental-level meetings that take place under the APEC umbrella.

One of ABAC’s current workstreams relates to the “digital economy”.  ABAC has commissioned the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Government to undertake a study on accelerating SMEs’ growth through cross-border e-Commerce.   In brief, the study aims to:

  • identify the critical barriers and impediments to e-Commerce across borders (whether policy problems, industry challenges, or firms’ capacity limitations);
  • determine which barriers are the most problematic, particularly for small and medium enterprises;
  • and to identify the best way to tackle these barriers, at the economy level, through regulatory and institutional reforms, and through coordinated industry initiatives.

Good progress has been made on the study to date, with the Marshall School researchers having completed over 500 interviews with stakeholders including executives, consultants, industry experts, academics and government officials, including in New Zealand.  The researchers would now like to substantiate their tentative conclusions through a questionnaire circulated to small and medium enterprises.

ABAC New Zealand would be very grateful for the participation of New Zealand SMEs in this work.   All contributions would be kept strictly confidential, and the survey should not require a significant time contribution. 

The researchers hope to finalise the surveys by 20 September

Click here to start the questionnaire.

Further information about ABAC can be found on, and by contacting the ABAC New Zealand team via Stephanie Honey –