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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to convene 2021 leaders’ summit


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to convene 2021 leaders’ summit

Photo: Xinhua

Leaders from the 21 member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) will convene virtually to discuss the region’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery today.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister—Jacinda Ardern—is set to chair the meeting. Also likely to attend are the heads of state or government from the US, China, and Russia alongside APEC’s additional 17 member nations in East and Southeast Asia, Oceania and South America. Together, the member states include 60% of the world’s GDP and 40% of its population.

Ardern is likely to emphasize the region’s shared goal of effectively deploying vaccination efforts thereby jumpstarting economic growth in the coming year. APEC’s bloc-wide GDP contracted by 1.9% in 2020, with a total loss of 81 million jobs. Recovery has likewise been uneven, especially among Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia, which have lagged behind in vaccination rates.

The discussion will also revolve around last year’s APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which aims for “strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth” by 2040 through trade integration, digitalization and human capital development. However, considering that Sino-American economic and security competition will intensify in the coming years, it is unlikely that Putrajaya in its current form holds much viability.

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