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APEC: Leaders Talk About Sustainability

APEC: Leaders Talk About Sustainability

The 2021 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week has begun in New Zealand, which is being hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The theme is “Join, Work, Grow.” Leaders, ministers, and senior officials from APEC’s 21 member economies will “jointly” reaffirm their commitment to responding to the health and economic crisis and collectively chart a course for the region’s recovery that ensures resilience and sustainability.

“There was never a more important time for economies to work together to share, rebuild and recover,” said Vangelis Vitalis, the 2021 Chair of APEC Senior Officials who concluded technical discussions on Friday, which sets the stage for ministers to round out concrete commitments on Monday and Tuesday. “Senior officials have met throughout the year and worked intercessional on various programs to advance APEC’s work to be responsive to the crisis and relevant to the recovery.”

Economic and trade policies that strengthen recovery, increase inclusion and sustainability for recovery, and pursue innovation and a digitally enabled recovery are on the table.

“Any recovery needs to take into account the impact of this crisis on women and youth, as well as on Indigenous populations and small businesses,” Vitalis added. “That will be key to our region’s successful recovery.”

Senior officials have discussed APEC’s work for the next two decades in the form of a plan to implement the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, in addition to charting a course through the current crisis.

The week will culminate with the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Ardern and will provide the strategic vision and directives for future collaboration among APEC member economies, on November 12–13.

On November 8–9, the APEC Ministerial Meeting will be co-chaired by New Zealand Ministers of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta and Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor.

APEC member economies account for approximately three billion people, half of global trade, 60% of total GDP, and a significant portion of global growth. The region’s outlook will be evaluated in the latest APEC Policy Support Unit economic trends analysis and trade monitoring reports, which will be released on November 8th, setting the tone for the week’s policy discussions.