APCAC recently expanded its membership to 30 AmChams in Asia Pacific, extending from Japan and Korea in the north, to Australia and New Zealand in the south, and west to India and Sri Lanka.
Overall, these chambers represent roughly 15,000 companies in the region, employ an estimated 10 million people, manage annual trade volumes in excess of US$400 billion, and contribute direct investments of over US$300 billion.
APCAC’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of U.S. business in the Asia- Pacific region. APCAC members combine their resources and knowledge to develop a common understanding of regional issues, opportunities, and challenges facing the American business community in Asia-Pacific.
APCAC issues include: support for Trade Promotion Authority and free trade agreements, including the TPP (Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership); reduction or removal of individual taxation of U.S. citizens working abroad (section 911 tax exclusion); removal of technical and administrative barriers to trade; and opposition to unilateral sanctions and other trade and investment issues.
Three annual events bring chamber members together. Each spring a member chamber hosts a regional conference, bringing together AmCham leaders and members, government officials, and others to discuss current business trends in the region and related social, political, and economic challenges. The conference is preceded by one-day coordination meeting of AmCham presidents/executive directors and also includes AmCham staff as appropriate.
In June, approximately two-thirds of APCAC chambers (primarily from Southeast and South Asia) gather in Washington DC for three days of Doorknock meetings with US government Administration officials, Senators and Congressmen, and think tank scholars. Roughly a third of the regions’ chambers, including AmCham HK, take individual Doorknock delegations to Washington, normally between April and September.
The fall APCAC meeting is limited to chamber presidents and executive directors, who share best practices on strategic and operational matters. Last year’s meeting was hosted by AmCham Mongolia, one of the most recently established chambers in the region.
Throughout the year, APCAC chambers are linked by email with the Asia Division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, with traffic focused primarily on the status of trade-related legislation on the Hill. Former AmCham Korea Executive Director Tami Overby has for several years been the U.S. Chamber’s Vice President for Asia and has been a strong supporter of APCAC and great resource for individual chamber leadership groups.