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APEC meeting to begin under New Zealand’s leadership

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APEC meeting to begin under New Zealand’s leadership

Aaron Favila AP
Photo: Aaron Favila/AP

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) annual ministerial meetings will commence today.

APEC is an intergovernmental forum comprising of 21 Pacific Rim economies focused on promoting free trade throughout the region.

Each year, the APEC host announces the areas and policy objectives where they believe APEC should develop for the next annual period.

This year’s host, New Zealand’s announced its policy priorities at the start of the APEC year, in December 2020, during the Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM). They include collaborative responses to pandemic economic recovery, demonstrating the relevance of APEC and positioning New Zealand as an enabler of digital democracy.

In the short- to medium-term, expect the regions’ economies rise by 6.3% in 2021. This will be driven by a surge in economic activity and cooperation as pent-up demand from the pandemic is released.

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In the long-term, expect APEC to continue growing into the politically significant organization its initiators expected it to be in the early 1990s. This will be crucial to the Biden administration since APEC allows the US to re-engage with countries that have been watching rising US–China tensions from the sidelines but also want the US to remain involved in the region’s economic policy development.

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