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APEC senior officials focus on COVID recovery

During the week of APEC Senior Officials meeting, media were invited to join a virtual media conference with SOM Chair Vangelis Vitalis and APEC Secretariat Executive Director Dr Rebecca Sta Maria.

SOM 1 – a 73-strong series of meetings – concludes tonight with a meeting of senior officials from across the Asia-Pacific.

Representing 21 APEC member economies, the officials will meet from midnight, NZ time.

It will be the second night in a row they have met, and will be the final meeting of the 73 that make up the cluster known as “Senior Officials’ Meeting 1”, which has run from February 18 to March 12.

SOM Chair Vangelis Vitalis and New Zealand officials are pictured at the first SOM Retreat held at midnight on Thursday - a dedicated session on implementing the Putrajaya Vision 2040.

Tonight’s talks will focus on how to fast-track the regional response to COVID-19, in a bid to boost the recovery process. They come on the heels of intensive discussion about how APEC will carry forward the commitments leaders made in 2020 and the development of 20-year implementation plan, taking into consideration the challenges and risks exposed by the pandemic.

“We are facing quite a serious challenge this year, driven in part by the health catastrophe that we all face across our region, but also the serious economic challenges that now confront our economies as we look to find a way through this crisis,” says Vangelis Vitalis, Chair of APEC 2021 Senior Officials.

“As a region, we need to work together to ensure APEC effectively responds, not just to the immediate crisis, but also to the longer-term need to build a sustainable and resilient regional economy that benefits everyone.”

 Read more here.

-   APEC New Zealand