APEC 2021 is the most important meeting New Zealand has hosted in a generation. Our theme focuses on three key points: Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē
For the many economies united by the Pacific Ocean, there has never been a more important time to join together.
As families, communities, economies, and, as a region, we are reeling from a global pandemic that has shaken the health of our people and the health of our economies. None of us are immune.
As we each put in place plans for recovery, it is APEC, the most dynamic region in the world’s economy, home to 38% of the world’s population, and about 60% of global GDP, that will help us all rebuild and recover. APEC 2021 NZ will be the time where we can all join together.
We were preparing to warmly welcome you to our home, Aotearoa New Zealand, to give you a taste of who we are. Instead we will meet on screens. Without doubt the bonds, connections and friendships will be harder to form, but our welcome will be no less warm and our desire to facilitate lasting connections and positive change no less diminished.
It is our commitment to lead the way in creating a digital experience that will ensure these goals are met. This is the start of a new era in digital diplomacy.
Whilst the medium will change, our principles won’t. We are an economy that believes in bringing people together. As we have helped each other with the resources required to fight Covid-19, this conviction has only strengthened. Like never before, the scale of the challenges the world faces today requires us all to work together in the interests of the greater good.
So despite not being able to meet in person, our aims for APEC NZ 2021 remain unchanged. We seek to create an environment where differing points of view can be expressed, debate can take place, where fairness prevails and connections can be made.
The bonds established at APEC are what enables progress to be made post APEC. We will create an environment where these bonds can continue to grow, and new bonds can be formed. When the time comes that we can meet in person again, we will have those deep connections to build from.
The challenges we face are significant. Covid-19 has set all of our economies back and disrupted our trajectories. Getting back on track will only come from working together with our own interests and each other’s at heart. Together we can lift each up. We’ve done it before. Over a billion people have been lifted out of poverty, average incomes have more than doubled because of our collective efforts. We will grow together again.
There is no escaping that our Covid-19 response will dominate APEC 2021, but as we work to rebuild, we need to bear in mind the additional benefits that economic cooperation can create. These include progress on sustainability, ensuring widespread adoption of digital tools to drive productivity, and creating inclusive plans that create opportunities for indigenous people and women.
The way we respond as a region to today’s challenges will be felt for generations to come. APEC 2021 NZ will be the start of reigniting growth and setting a plan for a long-lasting recovery for the entire region.
Haumi ē, hui ē, taiki ē
Traditionally, building a waka (canoe) involved entire Māori communities working in harmony toward a common goal. These waka enabled Māori to traverse vast expanses of ocean. Throughout APEC 2021 we will reference the teamwork and collaboration required in building waka. The words haumi ē, hui ē, taiki ē describe the collaborative effort required to reach a common goal.
* * *
Join, Work, Grow. Together.
Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē
APEC 2021 NZ