APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth for APEC economies.
“Today’s meeting was a powerful reminder that collaboration, co-operation and integration are key to economies flourishing,” David Clark said.
“It was a privilege to chair this meeting and I look forward to seeing how digital innovation will help to transform the way business is done around the Asia-Pacific, by making it more efficient and resilient.
“The major challenge that we are facing today is fighting COVID-19 and ensuring our economies recover from the largest global shock in recent times,” David Clark said.
“Structural reform is a factory reset when it comes to the economy. It’s the development of policy and law, to help APEC economies increase competitiveness and growth potential on the world stage.
“Right now, we have the opportunity to not just replace what we had, but to create a more robust future. In the long-term global leaders need to look at how our economies become more environmentally sustainable, innovation friendly and aligned in our global investment towards green alternatives, David Clark said.
The APEC structural reform ministers agreed to:
- Support APEC economies through ideas and discussions as they design and implement structural reform policies and projects;
- Encourage ideas for APEC-funded projects that contribute to structural reform initiatives, targets and responses to the economic effects of COVID-19;
- Consult the private sector via the APEC Business Advisory Council to make sure that the implementation of the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EASSR) is commercially-relevant, responsive, and actionable;
- Encourage greater collaboration amongst APEC economies.
The Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EAASR) was also endorsed, which outlines four pillars:
- Creating an environment for open, transparent, and competitive markets;
- Boosting business recovery and resilience against future shocks;
- Ensuring that all groups across society have equal access to opportunities for more inclusive, sustainable growth, and greater well-being; and
- Harnessing innovation, new technology, and skills development to boost productivity and digitalization.
The APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting takes place once every five years, with last year’s meeting delayed by one year due to COVID-19.