Press release from ABAC IV meeting, 10 November 2021

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Trade In The News


Business to APEC Leaders: work together to address pandemic recovery, trade, climate, inequality

Wellington, New Zealand, 10 November 2021 – Business leaders from the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), meeting virtually ahead of the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ summit, affirmed that a collective approach which put people at the heart of the Asia-Pacific agenda was needed to overcome current challenges.

“The challenges we face today – whether the pandemic recovery, trade, climate change, or inequality – show that a prosperous, peaceful and resilient future for all can only be achieved by all economies working together,” said ABAC Chair Rachel Taulelei.

“It’s critical too that people’s needs must to be at the forefront of everything we do –inclusion cannot be achieved in isolation from sustainability and economic growth,” said Ms. Taulelei. “These elements are all interconnected and mutually supportive.”

The Chair noted that these messages resonated well with presentations at ABAC’s fourth and final meeting for 2021. The agenda included keynote remarks by the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, a discussion on the future of the region with the former New Zealand Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, insights on the economic outlook from Dr. Petya Koeva Brooks, the Deputy Director of the IMF, and briefings from the outgoing and incoming APEC SOM Chairs.

Ms. Taulelei noted that ABAC’s annual Report, elaborated under the ‘People, Place and Prosperity’, or ‘Tāngata, Taiao me te Taurikura’ – would serve as a reference point for ABAC’s annual Dialogue with APEC Leaders, to be held on 12 November.

“Our Dialogue is a valuable opportunity for us to discuss directly with Leaders themselves the recommendations contained in our report. On the key issue of pandemic recovery, we make clear our view that vaccination will be key to overcoming the health crisis, enabling us to reopen borders safely and seamlessly, and also kickstarting economic growth.

“Mindful of the COP26 meeting currently taking place, we draw attention to ABAC’s Climate Leadership Principles for Business and our proposal for APEC to adopt a framework for trade and investment in renewable energy. These initiatives are both vital to transition to a lower carbon future and to safeguard to sustainability of the planet.”

“Earlier in the year we issued a detailed statement of support for the World Trade Organization (WTO). We have now also written to the Chair of the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference to emphasize the importance of taking ambitious and far-reaching decisions that will strengthen the organization”.

“Inequality has been heightened during the pandemic. We are therefore advocating for capacity building and structural reform which are urgently needed to empower smaller businesses, women and Indigenous communities”.

Ms. Taulelei added that the pandemic had also shown the urgent need to equip the region better for the digital age.

“We need to upgrade the digital skills of smaller businesses and individuals, invest in infrastructure and work towards enabling more seamless, interoperable digital trade,” she said. Ms. Taulelei said that ABAC welcomed the development of a detailed Implementation Plan for APEC’s Putrajaya Vision 2040, and congratulated New Zealand for its leadership of this important work.

“The ambitious goals in the Vision are exactly what our region needs, but our communities and businesses cannot afford to wait twenty more years to seem them realized. To address the region’s challenges head on, we encourage APEC economies to put the Implementation Plan into action immediately,” she concluded.


Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.

Latest News


Perhaps a cyclone was after all a fitting backdrop for the meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) which was held in Auckland on 12-14 February – the global environment against which the meeting took place is decidedly stormy.  In the event the wind...


As I write this end of year dispatch, NZIBF is preparing to host the first meeting for 2023 of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).  We are looking forward to welcoming the 200 or so business leaders and senior officials from APEC member economies across the...

NZ Herald: Time to lift our game in India

Following his recent visit to India our Executive Director Stephen Jacobi penned this article advocating a more strategic approach to the further development of the relationship. The article was published by the NZ Herald on 9 December.

APEC Rolls out Priorities for 2023

Issued by the Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting - Honolulu, The United States, 13 December 2022 Aiming to provide tailwinds for member economies to strengthen recovery and resilience, as well as advance broad-based economic growth, the United States rolled out its...

NZIBF 2022 Chair Report

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022 CHAIR’S REPORT I am pleased to present my second report on the activities and achievements of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) for 2022-23, our fifteenth year of operations.  At the outset I would like to thank Members for...


New Zealand business will be represented at the APEC Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, commencing 13 November, by members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). New Zealand’s three members – Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Anna Curzon – supported by Stephen Jacobi...

Submission to MFAT for CPTPP Review

30 September 2022 Phil Mellor Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington (By email) Dear Phil, Thank you for your email of 1 September, seeking our comments on the three year review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans...