Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation launches implementation plan for future cooperation in Asia-Pacific

November 13 2021

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Saturday launched the Aotearoa (New Zealand) Plan of Action towards achieving the Putrajaya Vision 2040 for future cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Launched at the ongoing 28th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, the Aotearoa Plan of Action aims for an "open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations", reports Xinhua news agency.

It set out individual and collective actions on three economic drivers, namely trade and investment; innovation and digitalisation; as well as strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The APEC member economies reaffirmed support for agreed upon rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in delivering a well-functioning multilateral trading system and promoting the stability and predictability of international trade flows.

They will implement APEC's Connectivity Blueprint, including by strengthening connectivity and resilient supply chains within APEC, according to the plan.

They also vowed to promote sustainable growth across sectors and the development of cost effective low and zero emissions technologies, sustainable finance and, if appropriate, carbon pricing mechanisms, while ensuring energy security, access, reliability and resilience through energy transition.

On digitalisation, the APEC member economies will strengthen digital infrastructure, accelerate digital transformation, narrow the digital divide, as well as cooperate on facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions.

In a bid to "embrace continuous improvement of APEC as an institution", APEC also plans to explore ways to discuss the possibility of expanding APEC members and observers, according to the plan.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that the APEC members 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 people.

"APEC has united the region in a coordinated response to the biggest economic downturn in 75 years."

The leaders of the 21 APEC members concluded their meeting by adopting a declaration, which highlighted policy actions designed to respond to Covid-19 and laid out commitments in accelerating economic recovery and achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, including further actions in tackling climate change, empowering groups with untapped economic potential, supporting the region's micro, small and medium enterprises and addressing the digital divide.

Noting the pandemic continues to take lives and impact livelihoods, which will create ongoing uncertainty and an uneven economic recovery across the Asia-Pacific region, the APEC members said it is a top priority in 2021 to ensure growth rebounds quickly and boost the global economic recovery.

The APEC members vowed to continue work to support global efforts to share vaccines equitably and expand vaccine manufacture and supply, including through the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms, and through voluntary reduction of the cost of COVID-19 vaccines and related essential Covid-19 medical goods.

They also supported deeper regional and international collaboration on Covid-19, according to the declaration.

Saying structural reform will also be a critical tool for promoting economic recovery, they welcomed the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform, which provides for collaboration on growth-focused reforms designed to be inclusive, resilient, sustainable and innovation-friendly.

Stressing trade should be a pillar for the development and future prosperity of all their people, the APEC members said the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core, can play an important role in economic recovery.

They also promised to advance economic integration in the region and the APEC Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) agenda, to contribute to high quality and comprehensive regional undertakings.

The APEC members also said they would continue to implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint to further improve physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity, and to work together to support energy resilience, access, and security in the region.

Thailand will take over as host of APEC in 2022.

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  • Source
  • IANS