Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened the 2021 APEC CEO Summit by laying out New Zealand’s priorities as APEC host as well as some of APEC’s achievements this year.
- "Each economy around the world faced vastly different challenges when initially confronted with the pandemic.But there are some lessons that have been consistent.
“One such lesson is that the health of our people and the health of our economies are intrinsically linked. Our government here in New Zealand believed this from the outset.”
- “A strong economy, built on healthy export receipts, has also provided the government with the fiscal headroom needed to continue to support those businesses most in need. This sits alongside our focus on ensuring our recovery is inclusive and equitable, because as always those with the least are hit with the full force of the disruption and hardship associated with an economic shock like this one.”
- “[…] ultimately, the strength and sustainability of the recovery depends on our connections including to this Asia-Pacific region.”
- “Every crisis presents an opportunity. And the 21 APEC economies have been dealt a heavy burden, but also an opportunity to strike an economic reset on a scale we haven’t seen since World War 2.”
“This year APEC Leaders have shown a determination to work together, to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before”
“Because our prosperity is more closely linked now than it’s ever been before.”
- “If there is a silver lining to the restrictions we’ve all recently experienced, it is that we have been forced to take a ‘major digital leap forward.’ After years of talking about the digital transformation, COVID-19 accelerated our progress by years.”
- “If business and government take action on gender parity in the workplace alone, McKinsey’s estimate that global GDP would be USD13 trillion higher in 2030. That is like adding an economy the size of China to our global economic weight.
“The adoption of gender responsive policies and business practices will enable women and girls to participate in, and benefit from, the recovery from COVID-19.”
- “Empowering Indigenous peoples is another area of economic opportunity that is also the right thing to do. There are about 270 million Indigenous peoples across our region, the majority of whom have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”
Sustainability and Climate Change
- “We must not allow the post-COVID recovery to return to business-as-usual, inexorably driving up emissions and the trajectory of global warming.”
- “Why on earth are governments subsidising fossil fuel use to the tune of some US$500 billion every year?I’m pleased that APEC is turning the tide on these subsidies by taking concrete steps to tackle them.
“And I am proud that we are taking practical action in APEC this year to wean the industry off these fossil fuel subsidies; as well as launching new work to identify additional environmental goods and services to help us all tackle the climate change challenge in particular, and sustainability in general.”
Trade as a Force for Good
- “And I am pleased to say APEC has stood up and rejected protectionism in this crisis. The region has defied history by avoiding the scourge of beggar-thy-neighbour trade policies that choke-off trade and drive poverty by reducing economic activity, growth and employment across all our economies.'
“In fact the reverse is true. This year, all APEC economies have worked to make trade easier as we battle the pandemic.”
Lessons from the Pandemic