ABAC highlights need for timely, coherent solutions to global challenges hinh anh 1Rachel Taulelei, 2021 ABAC Chair (Photo: apec2021nz.org)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) highlighted the need for joint efforts in seeking coherent and timely solutions to complex global challenges at its third virtual meeting for the year held on August 3.

Addressing the event, Rachel Taulelei, 2021 ABAC Chair, said that the council had finalised its annual letter and report to APEC Economic Leaders.

“Our key message to leaders is that a prosperous, peaceful and resilient future will only be achieved through our collective efforts. The challenges we face are profound, but they are also shared,” Taulelei said.

The pandemic is the most urgent problem, but we also need to navigate climate change, faltering economic growth and digital disruption. Standing alone and turning inwards is not the right strategy in a deeply interconnected world, she added.

Taulelei explained that the council had made a broad set of recommendations in its report, reflecting the range of complex issues facing the region.

She emphasised that the top priority at present is to unite to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that it is necessary to accelerate vaccination and ensure fair and universal vaccination through promoting free trade in vaccine and medical supplies and services.

Recalling that ABAC’s theme for 2021 is "People, Place and Prosperity", she said the well-being of the people must be at the heart of all that we do, adding so the council has recommended capacity building and structural reform to help empower small businesses, women and indigenous communities.

“We also call for a digitally-enhanced and trade-friendly food system; ensuring people are adequately nourished is fundamental to achieving all other objectives,” she continued.

“When it comes to place, we are committed to ensuring that sustainability underpins and drives all of APEC’s economic activity going forward. To that end, we have agreed a set of Climate Change Leadership Principles and a framework for trade in renewable energy, which we want to see, adopted more broadly.

“As for prosperity, APEC can demonstrate real leadership here as it has done so effectively in the past by championing a credible and relevant World Trade Organization, putting in place some of the building blocks towards the eventual Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, and ensuring that we leverage the potential of the digital economy through greater capacity-building, more accessible infrastructure and making sure that digital trade can flow seamlessly across the region,” Taulelei said.

She commented that there was a need for urgency. “The time for action is now. History shows that a crisis often generates new creativity and new momentum. Our key takeaway for leaders is that we need to start seeing results in all of these areas.”

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC's 21 member economies aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration./.