APCAC re-elects leadership

The Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) Board of Governors elected Steven R. Okun to a third term as chairman and Tom Clarkas vice chairman for Washington Relations.

APCAC, which comprises 27 member AmChams from across the entire Asia Pacific region, is the key organisation representing the overall interests of the US business community based in Asia.  

In June 2013, APCAC will build on last year’s “Doorknock” by taking a senior delegation to Washington DC to meet with leaders of the executive and legislative branches.  

Commenting Steven Okun said: “AmChams serve as the eyes and ears of the US business community in Asia.  The report we provide to the Administration and Members of Congress gives our leaders a first-hand account of what is happening in Asia, and where we can best get their support.”

This year, APCAC’s advocacy will focus on showing its strong support for the United States and its Trans Pacific Partnership negotiating partners to conclude negotiations by the end of the year.  

Other matters on the agenda include ensuring the full implementation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, while also highlighting the benefits the agreement has already brought to the US.

Tom Clark added: “Now is the time to finalize the trade architecture for the 21st century, to provide access to the dynamic markets of the region for American products and services, and which hopefully includes Japan.  In addition, APCAC is advocating for level playing fields between US citizens and businesses and their global competitors, whether in the area of restrictions on FDI in some Asian economies, the role of SOE’s, or in terms of U.S. international taxation policy.”

APCAC is also working for US business travelers to be able to obtain an APEC business travel card from the US government, which will improve the ease of doing business in the APEC region.

The AmChams that comprise APCAC represent the growing interests of over 50,000 executives and over 10,000 businesses in the region and manages trade volumes in excess of US$ 400 billion and direct investments (FDI) of nearly US$300 billion.

Okun is the director of public affairs for KKR Asia Pacific and Tom Clark is the vice president for government affairs and policy for GE Capital Asia-Pacific.

Okun served three consecutive terms as AmCham Singapore chairman from 2008-2011, and he served two terms as the chairman of the judging panel of the PublicAffairsAsia Gold Standard Awards.

Adam Sitkoff, executive director of AmCham Hanoi, will serve his third term as APCAC’s executive director.

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