APEC On Global Issues – The 28th CEO Meet

APEC On Global Issues – The 28th CEO Meet
Image Source – APEC2021

The (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) APEC CEO Summit 2021 has kicked off, LIVE from the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ministers and leaders from across the globe have gathered to attend the event for APEC hosted by New Zealand to discuss trade, economic recovery, and technical cooperation. This APEC Ministerial Meeting in the series of events is held from 8th to November 13, 2021.

The two-day summit is being held virtually and attended by political leaders, CEOs and thought leaders of APEC economies. APEC comprises 21 members, with the cooperative process predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues.

Nanaia Mahuta, foreign affairs minister, co-chaired the ministerial meeting. Another prominent member included Damion O’ Connor, the trade and export growth minister, President Moon Jae In from Korea, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Loong etc.

The meeting held significant importance in terms of discussion of issues that are globally hampering. The session comprised of a series of dialogue exchanges over priority issues presented by New Zealand, which included the following:

  • Agreement on economic and trade policies to strengthen the COVID-19 recovery.
  • Increasing inclusion and sustainability for a more resilient recovery, and
  • Pursuing innovation and a digitally enabled recovery.

Other chief issues, together with these, encompassed plans to halt the increase of harmful fossil fuels subsidies, vaccine supply chains through ports and rejecting export restrictions, lowering tariffs, supporting WTO in achieving an ambitious set of outcomes of free, fair and open trade.

The Korean president initiated one of the most crucial discussion topics and delivered a keynote speech at the virtual summit. He urged collective effort from the business leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

He called to show practical solidarity and help our planet achieve carbon neutrality, thereby warning humanity’s future that hinges on today’s actions.

“Coal and oil can no longer be sustained as energy sources,” Moon told the virtual APEC CEO Summit in a keynote speech. “We must lead a great transformation of civilisation to new energy solutions.”

 Moon emphasises the importance of a joint venture in coming up and combating the challenge of climate change and achieving carbon neutrality which would otherwise be difficult through government and businesses alone.

Further reiterating community participation, Moon adds, “What matters are solidarity cooperation and inclusiveness, which are also the very spirit of APEC, which seeks co-growth and co-prosperity through free trade in a cooperative environment.”

On the other hand, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong brought up firmly the issue of setting global digital standards that are crucial in tackling the vast gulf of opportunities.

On Thursday, November 11, PM Lee noted several areas to consider in establishing international digital standards – from data access issues to misinformation risks – and several overlapping discussions on significant platforms, be it at the World Economic Forum or the United Nations.

“It is useful to bring them together in a coherent manner,” he said.

For him, more people must participate meaningfully in the digital economy and lead the coherent and concerted effort needed to set the standards as the world transitions to the next frontier of digitalisation.

Also, he supports the idea of the UN in its proposition of establishing the global digital compact laying out principles for an open, interoperable and secure digital future.

“Apec should play a significant role as we strive to ride the digital wave,” PM Lee concluded in his virtual address.

APEC under New Zealand has flourished and has successfully provided solutions for the most dominant and concerning issues of all times. It has already progressed in digital cross-border trade flows, innovating digital solutions, promoting e-commerce etc.

The APEC chairmanship will fall on Thailand’s shoulders at the end of the virtual meeting of 28th APEC Economic Leaders Week (AELW), which will take place from Nov 11-12.

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