New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reaffirmed her confidence in multilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and called for consistent joint efforts to tackle the most important regional challenges.
Addressing the 28th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Ardern, who chairs APEC in 2021, underscored the persistent challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and the benefits of collaborative response by all member economies, reports Xinhua news agency.
Each economy is facing the same fundamental problems in terms of getting as many people vaccinated as fast as possible, keeping businesses afloat and people in jobs, resuming safe cross-border travelling, accelerating economic recovery, and securing an equitable response, she said.
Looking ahead, Ardern stressed the importance of protection offered by mass vaccination.
“Today is also a chance to look to the future, as we seek to emerge from this crisis better than before. A future where our businesses flourish and our economies offer opportunities for all, where we embrace a green transformation, combat climate change and harness digital technologies.
“A future where, once protected by vaccination, we are able to deepen our connections for all our benefit,” she said.
Calling for more solidarity and renewed belief in the institution of the regional bloc, Ardern said: “I hope we can write a new chapter in APEC’s history, and leave the organization stronger and ready to assist us all in tackling our most important challenges.”