Ardern calls for more of APEC cooperation to achieve recovery

Ardern calls for more of APEC cooperation to achieve recovery

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivers a keynote address to a global business audience at the 2021 APEC CEO Summit. (ANTARA/HO-APEC New Zealand)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for political and business leaders in the APEC region to work together to facilitate strong, equitable, and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delivering the keynote address to a global business audience at the 2021 APEC CEO Summit, the largest business conference in the Asia-Pacific region that runs adjacent to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, Prime Minister Ardern acknowledged the scale of the pandemic’s impacts and the varied challenges economies have faced.

"But there is now little doubt that staying on top of the virus provides options when it comes to responding to the economic challenges before us," Prime Minister Ardern said, as noted in a release issued by the 2021 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting Chair and received here on Friday.

"As we prepare for the post-pandemic era, we need to continue to strengthen partnership between the government and businesses," she remarked.

"Together, we need to set the stage for an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable recovery that invests in people and the planet through fresh ideas and renewed resolve," she affirmed.

Related news: APEC ministers issue joint statement on responding to COVID-19 crisis

Political and business leaders could work together in three areas to achieve economic recovery to weather future economic shocks.

"We must unlock efficiency and productivity gains that digital innovation offers. After years of talking about digital transformation, COVID-19 has accelerated progress by years," Prime Minister Ardern stated.

"Workplaces and businesses must be inclusive of everyone across our communities, particularly women and indigenous people," she noted.

"These groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s effects, but they are an engaged and productive labor force that have much to contribute. In New Zealand alone, the Māori economy is now worth NZD70 billion," she remarked.

Environmental sustainability was the third area for increased political and business cooperation, the New Zealand prime minister stated.

"I am proud of the progress APEC has made this year, including in the beginning, to turn the tide on the adoption of fossil fuel subsidies that have created devastating environmental degradation by masking the true cost of fossil fuels and inhibiting the transition to adoption of renewable alternatives," Ardern remarked.

She also acknowledged that addressing such systemic issues would demand a new model of political and business cooperation.

"We have been dealt an opportunity to strike an economic reset on a scale we haven’t seen since World War II. Implementing this level of change during such challenging times will require real courage from all of us, political leaders and business leaders alike," Ardern emphasized.

"APEC Leaders stand with the business community to ensure we all pull through the pandemic stronger than we were before," she concluded.

Related news: APEC ministers strive to expedite recovery through trade policy