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APEC Symposium to Focus on Reigniting Growth and Planning for Recovery

APEC Secretariat Singapore | 08 December 2020

This week, New Zealand, incoming host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, will focus member economies on a collaborative approach to reigniting growth and setting a plan for recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

New Zealand’s APEC host year begins on Wednesday, 9 December, with representatives of the 21 member economies attending a symposium and the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting hosted virtually from Wellington.

“Bringing APEC officials together provides an important opportunity to set expectations and prioritize the work that will take place throughout the following APEC year,” said Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.

“New Zealand will host APEC in the wake of the unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19,” she added. “This means that much of the focus for the upcoming meeting will be on COVID-19 and supporting the region’s economic response and recovery.”

APEC’s Economic Leaders agreed to the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration last month and stand united in their determination to enable the Asia-Pacific region to successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.

APEC Leaders also agreed to the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, a shared vision of the forum for the next 20 years.

“In the year ahead, APEC will not only be charting the course through the current economic crisis, but will also be agreeing a detailed plan of action to implement the new vision,” Dr Sta Maria explained. “This will also be an important task for the year and a core focus for New Zealand as host.”

“There is no doubt that the immediate economic response to COVID-19 will dominate discussions in 2021, but as we work to rebuild, we also need to consider the policies that will sustain a resilient recovery,” said New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor.

Running from 9 -11 December, the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting will include a symposium that will bring together global thinkers on issues important to APEC, an informal plenary meeting and an informal retreat.

Symposium experts will discuss macro-economic and fiscal responses to COVID-19 highlighting the importance of structural reform, digital economy, inclusive and sustainable growth and trade.

The stream will feature keynote addresses from:

  • Vangelis Vitalis, New Zealand’s Chair of APEC’s Senior Officials’ Meeting
  • Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships
  • Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking
  • Denis Hew, Director, Director of the APEC Policy Support Unit.

Keynote presentations from the symposium will be streamed on the APEC 2021 website from 04:30PM New Zealand (GMT+12). 

The symposium precedes the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ meeting and retreat on 10-11 December. At this meeting, senior officials from across the region will elaborate on the policy agenda for 2021.

No registration is required for media representatives who wish to cover the meeting. To access the meeting’s media pack, including photos, videos, background information and introduction to the APEC 2021 New Zealand, please visit this link.

For more information on APEC 2021 New Zealand, visit

To view meeting calendar for APEC 2021 year, which was released today, please visit this link.

WATCH: Join, Work, Grow. Together | Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.

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For further details, please contact:

Cas Carter +64 21 341 509 at [email protected] (in New Zealand)
Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at [email protected]
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at [email protected]

More on APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found on You can also follow APEC on Twitter and join us on FacebookLinkedIn.

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