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New report highlights value of measuring indigenous economies

A new APEC report on “Understanding and Valuing Indigenous Economies within APEC” was published this week. It highlights and reinforces the importance of advancing inclusive economic growth by supporting indigenous economic development in the APEC region.

The report was a New Zealand-led initiative and incorporates case studies from eight APEC economies including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru and Chinese Taipei. The case studies looked at their experiences measuring their respective indigenous economies.

Efforts to better understand indigenous economies align with the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 to achieve more inclusive and sustainable trade within APEC, and ensure no-one is left behind.

The report provided a basis for a virtual APEC Policy Dialogue on 3 March 2021 between APEC Senior Officials

The report touches on themes including procurement policies, responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples, labour supply and demand, Government economic policy development and economic participation and contribution.

The report adds to the work and discussions on global indigenous economies and reinforces the importance of APEC as a vehicle for advancing inclusive economic growth by supporting Indigenous economic development.

Access to reliable indigenous economic data enables the development of evidence-based and targeted policy responses. COVID-19 highlighted the socioeconomic inequities facing indigenous peoples and the importance of accurate and timely data in understanding the impacts of the pandemic on indigenous peoples in order to help build resilience against current and future challenges.

“Data for impact, data for innovation and relationships of reciprocity” was the key message from Māori data expert Kirikowhai Mikaere at the APEC Indigenous Policy Dialogue, held 3 March 2021.

A key finding from the report was that collecting and analysing indigenous economic data is a journey, and there is no standardised approach. It also showed APEC economies are at different stages in measuring and understanding their own indigenous economies.

 The report also showed that indigenous peoples have long developed a variety of systems to govern their own societies. Their traditional and local economic systems ensure sustainable utilisation of resources, social responsibility and harmonious relationships through cooperation, reciprocity and valoration of their cultural values.

 Measuring indigenous economies is critical to illustrating the economic contribution indigenous peoples make to their wider domestic economies. This can help support efforts to address issues of inequality and advance more inclusive models of economic growth.

APEC New Zealand plans to build on the momentum garnered through the report and Policy Dialogue and undertake further collaboration on indigenous economies during the remainder of New Zealand’s APEC host year. 

View the report here.