Saturday, April 13, 2024

PM to lead APEC meeting on COVID-19 recovery

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will chair a virtual meeting of APEC Leaders on Friday focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.

“This is the first time in APEC’s history that Leaders have held an additional meeting at Leaders’ level, and it reflects our desire to navigate together out of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis,” the Prime Minister said.

“APEC economies have suffered their biggest contraction since the Second World War over the past year, with 81 million jobs lost. Responding collectively is vital to accelerate the economic recovery for the region,” she said.

“Our region has already responded in significant ways, including removing barriers to the efficient distribution of vaccines and related goods, but there is still a lot of work to do to get through the crisis.”

Ms Ardern said leaders would share information in an effort to build on “our collective understanding of the region’s health response to COVID-19”, and to shape a collaborative economic response.

“Containing COVID-19 through rapid, safe, and effective vaccination; micro- and macro-economic policy settings to sustain businesses and workers; and building more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies will all be on the agenda,” she said.

“I will be inviting discussion on immediate measures to achieve more co-ordinated regional action to assist recovery, as well as steps that will support inclusive and sustainable growth over the long term.

“APEC Leaders will work together to get through the pandemic and promote a sustainable and inclusive recovery, because nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”

The Prime Minister said that leading a regional response to the pandemic is one of New Zealand’s highest priorities as APEC Chair.

“It has been the focus of recent meetings of Finance, Structural Reform and Trade Ministers, with all economies focused on international cooperation in responding to COVID-19 and laying the foundations for recovery.”

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