Steven R. Okun re-elected to top APCAC role

Steven R Okun has been re-elected to a second term as chairman of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce.

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.

Meanwhile, and for a second time, Okun has also been confirmed as the chairman
of the prestigious PublicAffairsAsia Gold Standard Awards, which
celebrate excellence in communications and public affairs engagement
between MNCs, governmental and NGO groups in Asia Pacific.

AmChams which comprise APCAC represent the growing interests of over 50,000 executives and over 10,000 businesses in the region.

The APCAC membership manages trade volumes in excess of US$ 400 billion and direct investments (FDI) of nearly US$ 300 billion.

“I am honoured to be re-elected as the chair of APCAC,” said Okun. “2011 was a significant year for the US business community in Asia. Last year, we witnessed the signing by President Obama of both the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the APEC Business Travel Card legislation.”

He added: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations accelerated as well, with the US and its TPP partners announcing on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Honolulu their intention to complete negotiations within 2012.  All of these occurred with broad bipartisan support.  APCAC looks forward to continuing to trumpeting the message of how US investment and growth in Asia means growth in the US.”

In June 2012, APCAC will build on last year’s largest ever delegation in bringing a high-level delegation to Washington, DC, to meet with leaders of the Executive and Legislative branches.

Tom Clark, vice president for government affairs and policy for GE Capital Asia-Pacific, will again serve as APCAC’s Vice Chairman for Washington Relations, and will take on the added responsibility of overseeing APCAC’s efforts on both the TPP negotiations and APEC. 

“This year gives us the chance to really move forward on the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations,” said Clark.

“This is the time to ensure that those who know best how to do business in Asia work to create a robust trade architecture for the 21st century, one that will provide access to the dynamic markets of the region for American products and services, and foster a win-win for our customers and partners throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

Okun joined KKR in 2011 as director of public affairs for Asia Pacific. Okun oversees public affairs, external communications and works on the firm’s sustainability efforts, and assists in those efforts for KKR’s more than 20 portfolio companies in the region.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore elected Okun to three consecutive terms as its chairman, from 2008-11  In addition, he is a Council Member of the Singapore Business Federation.

At the Board meeting, it was also announced that Adam Sitkoff, executive director of AmCham Hanoi, will serve a second term as APCAC’s executive director.

In addition, APCAC again retained the services of BGR Group as its Washington representatives.

The doorknock will take place from June 17 to 20, 2012.

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