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Join, Work, Grow.
Together Haumi ē, Hui ē,
Tāiki ē

Join, Work, Grow.
Together Haumi ē, Hui ē,
Tāiki ē

APEC brought 21 economies together to tackle challenges, and help each other prosper. The way we respond as a region to today’s challenges will be felt for generations to come, and that formed the basis for our narrative for APEC 2021: "Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē."

The impact of COVID-19 on the region’s people and economy, coupled with hosting an entirely virtual year, made APEC 2021 an ambitious exercise in digital diplomacy. It was one of the most important international events New Zealand will host in a generation, and wrapped up with the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting overnight on 12 November.

APEC is focussed on supporting and enabling trade that is inclusive and sustainable. At the top of the agenda in 2021 were our region's response to COVID-19 and the opportunity to build a more resilient future.

In 2021, APEC joined together in a commitment to speed up the cross-border flow of COVID-19 vaccines, rejuvenate the World Trade Organisation and world first action on services to support the movement of essential goods.

The progress on APEC’s agenda and high participation at our virtual APEC 2021 shows how our collective determination can overcome the challenges of the pandemic. 

Our region of three billion needs us to work together to defeat COVID-19.

'An enormous opportunity'

Leading the production of New Zealand’s host year are APEC New Zealand Deputy Secretary Andrea Smith and SOM Chair Vangelis Vitalis.

Throughout 2021, APEC economies are focusing their efforts on the COVID response and economic recovery, and the many forms this can take.

“Hosting APEC in 2021 is a really important opportunity for New Zealand to be at the leading edge of shaping the agenda of the Asia Pacific,” Ms Smith says.

The COVID-19 recovery will require new and different ways of thinking. As host for 2021, New Zealand helped lead a collaborative response. APEC’s 21 economies met virtually in hundreds of meetings throughout the year that shaped the decision-making process.

While COVID-19 has obviously changed everything for everybody in the region and beyond, Mr Vitalis called 2021 “an enormous opportunity for New Zealand to galvanize action in the APEC sphere … and really deliver meaningful benefits and meaningful responses to the crisis”.

Ms Smith says that action would help ensure the work that APEC does throughout New Zealand’s host year and beyond is “very much able to contribute” to the economic recovery of the region.

A fully digital APEC for the first time ever

In June 2020, the New Zealand Government announced that its entire host year would be run virtually, giving the certainty needed to make this massive event happen. 

Ensuring APEC can continue to meet and function in a time of global disruption shows it can continue carrying out its important role in regional cooperation.  

When New Zealand last hosted APEC in 1999, officials and leaders experienced our culture and hospitality. 

This time New Zealand showcased a different kind of APEC - a fully virtual APEC year. It became an opportunity for New Zealand to help pioneer digital diplomacy, and involved hundreds of meetings and events with 21 economies in 11 time zones. 

Read more about APEC's role here.


Join, Work, Grow. Together.
Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.