Remarks by ABAC Chair Rachel Taulelei to ABAC/APEC Economic Leaders’ Dialogue, 12 November 2021

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Trade In The News




12 NOVEMBER 2021



E te piki kōtuku, te Heamana o APEC, e te Pirimia, Jacinda Ardern

E ngā rangatira o te whānau whānui o APEC, kua tae mai nei i tenei rā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Prime Minister, Excellencies, fellow Members of ABAC

It is my honour and pleasure to welcome you to this Dialogue.

My thanks to my good friend Eruera Keepa for his blessing on our gathering today.

It has been a while, two years in fact, since we have met in this way and it is good to be back, albeit in virtual format.

My sincere thanks to you, the Economic Leaders of APEC, for joining us and for your continuing willingness to listen to the views of the business community.

You have appointed us to bring a business voice to APEC and for the last year, as in past years, Members have worked hard to develop meaningful, actionable and forward looking recommendations for your consideration.

You have before you our Report comprising 43 recommendations in areas such as Regional Economic Integration, Sustainability, Inclusion, Digital and the Economy.

This year five annexes in our Report provide more detailed advice on specific topics.

These are recommendations for our time.

They have been elaborated under the theme of “People, Place and Prosperity” or in the language of the Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand, “Tāngata, Taiao me te Taurikura”.

These three elements – people, place and prosperity – are closely linked and so are our recommendations – we cannot find the solutions we so desperately need for today by working in silos.

This year we have all had to focus on overcoming the challenge of the pandemic and we have plenty to say about this in our report, particularly about the need to use vaccination to drive the future conditions for border re-opening.

But we are drawn at this point to think even more widely about what our economies require to begin the much-need for process of economic recovery.

Our time together today is necessarily short, which is why our discussions will focus on two areas – first about moving from crisis to recovery and second about how to address the situation of disadvantaged groups and move to a low carbon economy.

ABAC Members are keen to hear your views in response to our recommendations.

APEC has many unique features which distinguish it from other international gatherings and one of these is the way in which government and business work together to find solutions.

This year we have had numerous points of interaction with your Ministers and Senior Officials, and we are grateful for the many courtesies extended to us.

In all our discussions we have encouraged APEC Members to be bold and ambitious in their decision-making.

That is particularly needed as we prepare to implement the Putrajaya Vision which you agreed last year. 

Our region and its people cannot wait 20 years for this vision to be fully implemented.

We have no doubt that at your meeting tomorrow you will take up this challenge and show the leadership required to transition our region to become more people-centred, sustainable and prosperous.

And so I say to you, at this critical time in history, “Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawa nui.”

Be strong, be brave, be of good heart.

I would now like to call on the APEC Chair, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to address us before we break into our five discussion groups.


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