Prime Minister Concludes APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern overnight chaired the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting where Leaders from 21 APEC economies agreed to the new Aotearoa Plan of Action.

“APEC Leaders are more determined than ever to work together to defeat COVID-19, accelerate the region’s economic recovery, respond to climate change, and build growth that is inclusive of all our people,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As we continue to recover from this global crisis, Leaders acknowledged the opportunity to reset. The new Aotearoa Plan of Action, agreed to by all Leaders, sets out a plan for APEC’s work through until 2040.

“The Agenda stays true to APEC’s original mission of growing trade and our economies. While it underpins prosperity in the short term, Leaders have also used the Aotearoa Plan of Action to focus on the choices that will support the Asia-Pacific’s future generations, like decarbonisation and empowering our Indigenous peoples.

“As New Zealand’s leadership of APEC in 2021 draws to a close, APEC has united the region in a coordinated response to the biggest economic downturn in 75 years, with a series of results that matter to New Zealanders and the region,” Jacinda Ardern said.

APEC Leaders also issued a joint declaration which recognised that in New Zealand’s host year APEC has:

  • Rejected vaccine nationalism, with APEC members lowering tariffs on vaccines and related products to combat COVID-19, speeding them through customs, and shunning export bans
  • Digitised trade processes to reduce paperwork and save businesses valuable time and money, with most of APEC making these measures permanent
  • Taken practical steps to transition away from carbon, with APEC agreeing a plan to halt the increase in subsidies to fossil fuels that today amount to NZ$500 billion a year
  • Highlighted Indigenous economies as a driver for recovery, bringing the perspective of the region’s 270 million Indigenous people inside APEC prominently for the first time ever
  • Committed to find ways to cut red tape, reduce the cost of doing business, and make it faster to start a business.

In addition to hosting the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Prime Minister Ardern spoke at the APEC CEO Summit and the Voices of the Future forum. Together with Rachel Taulelei, she chaired a meeting of APEC Leaders with the business community. 

Between the Prime Minister and APEC Ministers, bilateral meetings have been held with all APEC economies across the 2021 host year.

Thailand will take over as host of APEC in 2022.