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Informal Senior Officials' Meeting (ISOM)

Wednesday 9 December 2020 - Friday 11 December 2020

Click here to view a recap of the keynote addresses from ISOM - the first meeting of New Zealand's APEC host year.

From December 9-11, the Informal Senior Officials Meeting (ISOM) will open APEC 2021 and set the scene for New Zealand’s host year.

Keynote presentations from the opening day will be streamed on the APEC website after 4pm It features addresses from World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships Mari Pangestu; Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking; and Denis Hew, Director, APEC Policy Support Unit.

At ISOM, the APEC economies discuss and prioritise all the work that will take place throughout the following APEC year. From 9 -11 December, New Zealand’s APEC Senior Official Vangelis Vitalis will virtually host a series of events, including a symposium, which brings together global thinkers on issues important to APEC, and an informal plenary meeting.

Opening speaker

Senior Officials' Meeting chair Vangelis Vitalis
Vangelis Vitalis

Vangelis Vitalis is the APEC 2021 Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Chair for New Zealand’s host year. The SOM Chair is appointed by the host economy to facilitate the APEC policy agenda and coordinate the work of the Senior Officials. As hosts in 2021, New Zealand will chair the APEC Senior Officials Meetings.

Mr Vitalis is also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Deputy Secretary, Trade and Economic. He is an experienced negotiator, currently holding the role of Chief Negotiator for the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Previously, he was the Chief Negotiator who concluded the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and, before that, in 2007-9 led the conclusion of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and the Malaysia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (MNZFTA).

Prior to joining the Ministry, Mr Vitalis was New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. He has also been the Ambassador to the European Union and NATO in Brussels and had postings to Canberra and Moscow.

Watch Mr Vitalis' opening address at ISOM.

ISOM Symposium keynote speakers

Mari Pangestu
World Bank – Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships

Mari Pangestu is a renowned economist, with over 35 years’ international affairs experience. She is currently the World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships.

Her keynote address at the ISOM Symposium will challenge APEC economies to think creatively about how the region can ensure economic recovery is resilient, inclusive and substantive.

Ms Pangestu served as Indonesia’s Minister of Trade from 2004 to 2011 and as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy from 2011 to 2014. She also has extensive experience working in areas related to international trade and investment in the multilateral, regional and domestic setting.

Watch Ms Pangestu's keynote address
Dr Ma Jun
Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking – Chairman

Dr Ma Jun is currently Chairman of Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking. Dr Jun will address issues around sustainability and international collaboration in his keynote address at the ISOM Symposium.

Between 2014 and 2017, he served as the Chief Economist at the People’s Bank of China Research Bureau and led the national green finance policy framework. Prior to that, he worked for 13 years at Deutsche Bank, where he was Managing Director/Chief Economist for Greater China. During 1992-2000, he worked as a senior economist and public policy specialist at the World Bank, and an economist with the IMF.

Watch Dr Jun's keynote address.
Professor Richard Baldwin
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – Professor of International Economics

Richard Baldwin is Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. He is often referred to as “one of the most important thinkers in this era of global disruption”.

Professor Baldwin’s keynote address at the ISOM Symposium will discuss the need for international cooperation across the Asia-Pacific in such a pivotal and defining time for the region.

Prior to Geneva, he was a Senior Staff Economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisors in the Bush Administration (1990-1991) following trade negotiations such as the Uruguay Round, NAFTA and numerous US-Japan trade disputes. Professor Baldwin also advises and consults with numerous governments and international organisations on international trade and globalisation issues.

Watch Prof Baldwin's keynote address
Dr Denis Hew
APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC Secretariat – Director

Denis Hew is the Director of the APEC Policy Support Unit at the APEC Secretariat in Singapore. His keynote address will focus on the recently released flagship APEC Regional Trends Analysis. He will provide an insight into the region's latest economic and trade issues, and the economic, social and environmental impacts of COVID-19.

Dr Hew was Regional Cooperation Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) before taking up his current appointment at APEC. He was also Managing Editor of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, a leading academic journal that focuses on economic issues in Southeast Asia. Dr Hew has written extensively on regional economic cooperation and integration, especially in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Watch Dr Hew's keynote address.

Closing address

Hon Damien O'Connor

As New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor will chair the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in 2021. Mr O’Connor’s background in farming and adventure tourism drives his view that well-paid, sustainable jobs and industry growth are needed to improve everyone’s future. He is a passionate advocate for rural communities and for a thriving agricultural sector.

Mr O’Connor was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and in the 2020 Labour Government, was appointed Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Land Information, and Minister for Rural Communities.

Watch Minister O'Connor's closing address here.