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Ministers: Trade that benefits all is vital for economic recovery

8 November

Issued by the APEC Ministerial Meeting

Wellington - Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies are meeting virtually over the next two days to accelerate the region’s economic recovery through innovative trade policy and multilateral cooperation.

The 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting is co-chaired by New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor. Policy recommendations will be shared by representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council and APEC’s official observers—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and Pacific Island Forum. 

“Together, we have worked tirelessly over the past year to deliver a diverse range of meaningful outcomes, notably in speeding up the movement of vaccine supplies and other essential goods across borders,” Minister O’Connor said when welcomed ministers at the meeting. 

“Progress on APEC’s ambitious agenda this year shows how our collective determination can overcome the challenges during the pandemic,” Minister O’Connor said. “And this momentum must not stop.”

The meeting precedes the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on 12 November and the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC12). The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will share her views on global trading system and how APEC members can contribute to ambitious outcomes at the upcoming conference.

“Today’s meeting will provide an important opportunity to build momentum and seek consensus ahead of MC12,” said Minister O’Connor. “APEC’s support for the World Trade Organization is an area of which we all agreed this year.”

“Our goal is to intensify regional cooperation to support the WTO’s agenda at its upcoming conference as a way of driving a trade-led recovery from the pandemic,” added Minister O’Connor. “This approach benefits all. Free, fair and open trade will get us all through the pandemic.”

“We all agree that trade is vital in mitigating the impacts of the pandemic and it will be the driver of growth and a force for good for our future prosperity,” he added. “In this spirit, we must continue to work together to ensure that our trade and investment environment is free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable to benefit all of our people.”

“This year, APEC is at a turning point in its history. We, as Ministers, have the opportunity to set a course for APEC for the next two decades,” Minister O’Connor concluded. “I hope you will join us as we work together to advance our region and leave a lasting legacy for all our people, and future generations.”

The 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting will conclude on Tuesday.

For further details, please contact:

Cas Carter +64 21 341 509 at (in New Zealand) 

Sidah Russell +64 21 359 235 at (in New Zealand)

Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at

Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at

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