In 1999, following the Asian Financial Crisis, companies operating in the region began to realize that they were operating within an integrated financial and economic system, that they had responsibilities to their societies, and that as businesses they needed to pave the way toward broader growth and sustainability. If they were to succeed, they needed to establish deeper relationships within the region, pursue more regional growth opportunities, and find new ways to engage with their communities and employees.
Dr. Ruth Shapiro, together with a group of like-minded, prominent Chairmen and CEOs of businesses headquartered and/or with major operations in Asia, founded the Asia Business Initiative which, in 2001, became incorporated in Hong Kong as the Asia Business Council, the first pan-Asian CEO organization. Dr. Shapiro, who had driven much of the impetus, became the Council’s first Executive Director and Ronnie C. Chan, the Inaugural Chairman.
The Asia Business Council’s primary goal is to understand and work toward the continued economic growth and competitiveness of Asia as a region. Our mission is to:
- Foster dialogue and understanding among Asian and international business leaders
- Improve the efficacy of the private sector in promoting continued economic growth and development in the region
- Be a collective voice to influence other corporations, governments, multilateral organizations, and members of civil society
We accomplish our goals by holding two member-only Forums in the spring and autumn of each year, facilitating subject specific task forces, and by conducting research in areas that impact on the Council’s aims. Findings and recommendations for action are made public when appropriate.