Remarks by ABAC Chair Rachel Taulelei to the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting, 22 October 2021

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Trade In The News



22 OCTOBER 2021

E te Minita, Grant Robertson, tēnā koe. E rangatira mā, tēnā koutou katoa. It’s a pleasure for me and my ABAC colleagues to join you at your meeting today. Earlier this year a number of ABAC Members were pleased to join you for an
informal Dialogue.

That Dialogue – the first of its kind – was particularly useful for exchanging views at an early stage in the year and giving shape to our work programme.

Since then we have continued to develop our recommendations to you Ministers and to APEC Economic Leaders with whom we will be meeting on 12 November.

You have before you our considered advice which draws on the work of our Economy Working Group and the Advisory Group on APEC Financial System

Capacity Building, chaired respectively by Robert Milliner and Hiroshi Nakaso, whom I am pleased to have with me here today.

As you recall, our recommendations have been elaborated under the theme “People, Place and Prosperity – Tāngata, Taiao me te Taurikura”.

We have taken a strong “people-first” approach to our work this year, but all the elements of our theme need to come together to build a robust, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

Sound monetary, fiscal and macro-economic management is always critical but at this challenging time it has become literally a matter of life and death.

Only functioning economies can ensure access to vaccination and medical services.
Only functioning economies can afford the stimulus which can preserve jobs and livelihoods and support our smaller businesses.
Only functioning economies can help us meet the other challenges of inclusion and sustainability which have not gone away but have in many respects become more amplified during the crisis.

This year we have taken the opportunity to encourage Ministers and Senior Officials to be bold and ambitious for the future of our region – now is the time to increase our efforts at sharing best practice and coordinating policy delivery which has always been the hallmark of APEC.

It is also clear that we cannot take a siloed approach to what is needed to restart our economies as we emerge from the pandemic – structural reform, trade policy, climate leadership, social assistance, digital enablement and financial system health all need to go hand in hand, particularly as we work to implement the Putrajaya Vision.

The achievement of that Vision cannot wait twenty more years: we will be emphasizing to Leaders next month that we need to identify those actions that can be taken now to deliver an early harvest for the benefit of the region’s people.

I am pleased to see from your draft statement that you are committed to taking the steps that are needed to confront today’s challenges and to prepare for tomorrow.

We have noted the positive references to our work and are glad that this year our interaction has stepped up a level: we hope this is something that can be continued under the Thai Chair next year.

I would now like to give the floor first to Robert Milliner and then to Hiroshi Nakaso to speak further to our report and the specific recommendations.

On behalf of my fellow ABAC Members, I wish you well for your meeting today.


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