The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Just as the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) works on behalf of US businesses to create a better local environment, so do similar organizations across the region. The Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) is a 28-member group that represents 15,000 companies, 50,000 overseas American employees, and 10 million total workers.

APCAC member companies represent an estimated $700 billion in annual trade and investment, making the organization a key voice in the Asia–Pacific market. The ACCJ has long been a strong supporter of APCAC, with committee leaders and members of the board of governors playing important roles in the group’s advocacy efforts.

The ACCJ takes on a new role within APCAC this year with the election of Marie Kissel as the new chairman. The vote took place during the group’s 50th anniversary board meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held April 4–5. Some 350 business, government, diplo­matic, and academic figures from more than 12 countries gathered in the capital for the 2018 Business Summit, hosted by the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, to discuss a wide range of issues facing the region in what has been dubbed the Asian Century.

Kissel, who is senior advisor for International Government Affairs at Abbott and an ACCJ vice president, said of her new position: “I am honored to have been elected the new chairman of APCAC and I am looking forward to the important work ahead.

APCAC and its 28 member AmChams are doing vital work throughout this dynamic region. APCAC is dedicated to promoting solutions to make it easier to do business in Asia.”

She also noted that APCAC is unique in representing US business leaders with in-country expertise from across Asia–Pacific and South Asia and in articulating the goals of member chambers to government partners.

Kissel served as APCAC corporate vice-chair, representing the ACCJ with Executive Director Laura Younger, who serves as regional vice-chair.

Key activities of APCAC include develop­ment of advocacy initiatives in areas such as trade, taxation, and representation for US entrepreneurs and businesses in Asia–Pacific, as well as a DC Doorknock, similar to the annual ACCJ event that connects business leaders with representatives in the US Congress. These initiatives align well with the goals of the ACCJ, and the chamber is proud to play a strong supportive role for our fellow Americans working throughout the region, from Mongolia to New Zealand.

Joining Kissel in APCAC’s 2018 leader­ship are new Executive Committee members Ann Yom Steel, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, as vice-chair; Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, as treasurer; and Adam Sitkoff, executive director of AmCham Vietnam (Hanoi) as secretary.

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-Chief of The ACCJ Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.
APCAC and its 28 member AmChams are doing vital work throughout this dynamic region.