Structural reform took center stage as ministers and economic officials from 21 APEC member economies convened virtually on Wednesday, chaired by New Zealand Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark, to advance sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic by invigorating APEC’s structural reform agenda.
Ministers and officials say that the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform will help member economies prioritize their work for the next five years and chart the way toward strong, sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the region.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Dr Clark underscored the crucial role that structural reform plays in boosting recovery as well as advancing policy development that will improve the institutional and legal environment across APEC.
“This is a critical time to join together, share experience and collaborate as we promote and shape our economic recovery from the pandemic,” Dr Clark said.
“Implementing the right structural reforms will help ensure that our economies, businesses and all our people can build towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery, and improve resilience for the future,” Dr Clark added.
He highlighted that structural reform efforts will enable economies to respond to the urgent issues and prepare the region for future economic shocks.
“Macroeconomic responses from economies have provided critical buffers during the pandemic for people and businesses while microeconomic policies will improve markets’ efficiency and productivity,” Dr Clark explained.
Focusing on APEC’s priority to increase inclusion and sustainability for recovery, Dr Clark expressed support for tackling climate change that will only exacerbate the future economic, social and environmental costs across the region.
“Right now, we have the opportunity to not just replace what we had, but to create a more robust future, by adopting a green recovery,” Dr Clark advised. “That is, to be inclusive in the long-term, environmentally sustainable, innovation friendly, and that helps to align and accelerate global investment towards green alternatives.
“Collaboration, cooperation and integration are key to economies in laying the foundations for a stronger, healthier world following the disruption caused by COVID-19,” Dr Clark concluded.
“The structural reform efforts that we put into place will contribute to APEC’s overarching goal to promote balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth.”