APEC's new structural reform plan to boost resilience against future shocks

Source: Xinhua| 2021-06-16 17:39:33|Editor: huaxia
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WELLINGTON, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Structural reform took center stage as ministers and economic officials from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) member economies convened virtually Wednesday to advance the region's sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministers and officials said the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform will help member economies prioritize their work in the next five years and chart the course towards a strong, sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the region.

Officials responsible for structural reform from APEC member economies issued a joint statement following their virtual meeting, chaired by New Zealand Minister of Commerce David Clark.

The statement identifies initiatives in three key areas that APEC will undertake to reduce behind-the-border barriers and promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth in the region: supporting a sustainable and resilient recovery from the impact of COVID-19, refreshing the APEC structural reform agenda, and utilizing a variety of tools to advance structural reform and other business.

The two annexes issued to the statement included the refreshed APEC agenda for structural reform and an action plan to make it cheaper, faster and easier to do business in the APEC region.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Clark underscored the crucial role that structural reform plays in boosting recovery as well as advancing policy development that will improve the institutional and legal environment across the APEC region.

"This is a critical time to join together, share experience and collaborate as we promote and shape our economic recovery from the pandemic," said the New Zealand minister.

"Implementing the right structural reforms will help ensure that our economies, businesses and all our people can build towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery, and improve resilience for the future," said Clark.

He stressed that structural reform efforts will enable economies to respond to the urgent issues and prepare the region for future economic shocks.

"Macroeconomic responses from economies have provided critical buffers during the pandemic for people and businesses while microeconomic policies will improve markets' efficiency and productivity," Clark said.

Focusing on APEC's priority to increase inclusion and sustainability for recovery, Clark expressed support for tackling climate change that will only exacerbate the future economic, social and environmental costs across the region.

"Right now, we have the opportunity to not just replace what we had, but to create a more robust future, by adopting a green recovery," Clark said. "That is, to be inclusive in the long-term, environmentally sustainable, innovation friendly, and that helps to align and accelerate global investment towards green alternatives."

"Collaboration, cooperation and integration are key to economies in laying the foundations for a stronger, healthier world following the disruption caused by COVID-19," Clark said.

"The structural reform efforts that we put into place will contribute to APEC's overarching goal to promote balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth," he said. Enditem