November 12, 2021

The APEC ministers are working to speed up the recovery process through trade policy.

Ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies will meet digitally over the next two days to discuss how to speed up the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (Covid-19) through innovative trade policy and multilateral cooperation.

“We all believe that trade is critical in minimizing the pandemic’s effects, and it will be a driver of growth and a force for good for our future prosperity,” said Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth.

According to an APEC Secretariat announcement received here on Tuesday, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor will co-chair the 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting.

Representatives from the APEC Business Advisory Council and APEC’s official observers — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, and the Pacific Island Forum – offered policy proposals.

“Over the past year, we have worked relentlessly together to deliver a varied variety of relevant outcomes, particularly in speeding up the movement of vaccine supplies and other essential products across borders,” Minister O’Connor said as he welcomed ministers to the meeting.

“This year’s progress in APEC’s ambitious agenda demonstrates how our joint determination can overcome the pandemic’s hurdles.” “This momentum must not be stopped,” he added.

The event takes place before the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 12 and the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference on November 13. (MC12).

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), will speak at the next conference about the global trade system and how APEC members can contribute to ambitious results.

“Today’s meeting will be a critical opportunity to build momentum and reach a consensus ahead of MC12.” “This year, we all agreed on APEC’s support for the World Trade Organization,” O’Connor remarked.

He went on to say that the purpose of the APEC trade ministers is to strengthen regional collaboration in order to support the WTO’s agenda at its next conference and drive a trade-led recovery from the epidemic.

“Everyone benefits from this strategy. “Free, fair, and open trade will bring us all through this pandemic,” stated O’Connor. “In this spirit, we must continue to collaborate to ensure that our trade and investment environment is free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, and predictable for the benefit of all of our citizens.”

“APEC is at a crossroads in its history this year. “As ministers, we have the ability to chart the direction for the next two decades for APEC,” he continued.

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