APEC business leaders urge joint efforts to address pandemic recovery, other challenges

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 11, 2021
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Business leaders from the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) affirmed Wednesday that a collective approach putting people at the heart of the Asia-Pacific agenda is 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 in a statement.

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

ABAC's annual Report, elaborated under the themes of "People, Place and Prosperity," would serve as a reference point for ABAC's annual Dialogue with APEC leaders to be held on Friday.

"Our Dialogue is a valuable opportunity for us to discuss directly with leaders themselves the recommendations contained in our report," she said.

"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," Taulelei noted.

"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," said the ABAC chief.

These initiatives are both vital to transition to a lower carbon future and to safeguard to sustainability of the planet, she said.

"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," Taulelei pointed out.

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.

Taulelei said that ABAC welcomed the development of a detailed Implementation Plan for APEC's Putrajaya Vision 2040.

"The ambitious goals in the Vision are exactly what our region needs, but our communities and businesses cannot afford to wait 20 more years to see them realized. To address the region's challenges head on, we encourage APEC economies to put the Implementation Plan into action immediately," she concluded.

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