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An entirely virtual APEC

New Zealand will become the first economy to host an entirely virtual host year of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Malaysia laid the ground work for this in its 2020 host year, which went virtual due to the COVID pandemic.

New Zealand will become the first economy to host an entirely virtual host year of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

In June the Government announced it would make the move to a digital event to provide certainty in an uncertain time. COVID-19 meant visitors to New Zealand could be faced with managed isolation or quarantine restrictions.

APEC accounts for about 60% of world gross domestic product and about 48% of world trade. It aims to help businesses by making rules around exporting easier, enabling businesses to grow their trade and in turn create jobs for New Zealanders.

Eight of New Zealand’s top 10 export markets for goods and services are APEC economies, while 71% of New Zealand’s exports and imports of goods and services is with APEC economies. One-in-four New Zealanders in work today depends on exports for their livelihoods. 

APEC New Zealand deputy secretary Andrea Smith said global disruption caused by COVID-19 and resulting border restrictions were a major factor in the decision to go virtual.

For New Zealand, APEC is particularly important. It brings together and enhances the rules for international trade and investment. This directly impacts exporters and importers in New Zealand who employ thousands of people across the country.

Hosting APEC in 2021 provides the potential for New Zealand to shine on the world stage, and to amplify our voice to influence regional trade and economic matters.

“In the time of a global pandemic it is now more important than ever that we work with our APEC partners to manage the COVID recovery. APEC is an economic forum and the relationships we have established since the beginning of APEC are already showing value.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the region’s people and economy, coupled with the decision to host an entirely virtual year, makes APEC 2021 an ambitious exercise in digital diplomacy. It is one of the most important international events New Zealand will host in a generation.”

APEC is focused on growing economies and supporting and enabling sustainable, inclusive trade. In 2021, an integral pillar of work will be the region’s response to COVID-19, mapping out a response that delivers for all, Ms Smith said.

Many of the costs associated with hosting physical meetings will no longer apply. New Zealand will, however, need to provide the technology, people and services to properly support the volume and complexity of the APEC programme, while managing cyber-security risks.

APEC NZ still intends to provide a lasting legacy for New Zealanders in the form of policies that enable easier, more sustainable and inclusive trade.

APEC is a key regional body for supporting New Zealand businesses to trade in our region.

APEC helps businesses by making rules around exporting easier, enabling businesses to grow their trade and in turn create jobs for all New Zealanders. APEC  is an important regional platform for helping New Zealand companies to trade and our economy to grow.

  • APEC includes 8 of New Zealand’s top 10 export markets for goods and services
  • 71% of New Zealand’s exports and imports of goods and services is with APEC economies
  • One in four New Zealanders in work today depends on exports for their livelihoods
  • By 2021, APEC economies will count for 61% of global GDP

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

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