The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum agreed to lower fossil fuel subsidies and facilitate the supply of anti-COVID vaccines at a virtual summit of 21 economies in the region, including the United States, China and Mexico.
“We have focused on carrying out a coordinated economic response to the biggest drop in 75 years, creating new growth models that include everyone and respond to climate change.”Said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press conference after the summit that ended this morning in New Zealand, Ardern, whose country chairs APEC this year, said that countries have committed to decarbonizing the economy, eliminating barriers to trade, increasing digitization and measures to include ethnic minorities in post-pandemic recovery policies.
“270 million indigenous people will be able to join the negotiations”Said Ardern, who welcomed the fact that the forum’s economies have not responded with protectionist policies to the pandemic.
“Trade is a force for good, APEC has rejected vaccine nationalism and we are going to lower barriers to supply”He added.
The prime minister did not specify specific dates and objectives, but assured that there is a consensus in the commitment to achieve neutral emissions, progress towards a future APEC regional free trade agreement and the digitization of the economy.
“This year we have tried to make it easier to trade in need and services, which further supports a future loan transition.”Added the president, who invited other countries to the digital economy agreement reached between New Zealand, Singapore and Chile in 2020.
Against vaccine inequality
Previously, the leaders, including US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to expand the export and supply of vaccines with measures such as the “voluntary transfer of production technology.”
“We recognize the inequalities in access to COVID-19 vaccines, and therefore we continue to support access to safe, effective, quality and affordable vaccines,” the joint statement said.
“Trade must be a pillar for the development and future prosperity of all our peoples. At this time of extraordinary turmoil, the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a benchmark, can play an important role in economic recovery, ”the joint statement said.
In this regard, Asia-Pacific leaders pledged to intensify efforts to ensure the flow of goods in difficult circumstances, which involves working on resilient supply chains, developing and investing in quality infrastructure, as well as in the port cooperation.
Rivalry between Beijing and Washington
The rivalry between China and the United States, which in recent years have increased their trade and geopolitical disputes, has been planned in the previous meetings held in recent days at the forum, which is held telematically for the second consecutive year by COVID- 19.
It is the first time that a US president has participated in the forum since Donald Trump did it in 2017, who distinguished himself by a rejection of multilateralism, a departure from commitments against climate change and the start of a trade war with China.
Biden, who took office last January, has adopted a more internationalist agenda and resumed the pro-climate agenda, but has maintained tariffs and barriers on Chinese products and geostrategic tension with Beijing.
In a virtual meeting with businessmen in the framework of APEC, the Chinese president said on Thursday that the Asia-Pacific region should not reignite the tensions of the Cold War, warning that attempts to “form small geopolitical circlesThey are destined to fail.
APEC represents 60% of world GDP and more than half of global trade, with a market of about 2.85 billion consumers – 40% of the world population – and aims to establish a free trade zone between the 21 economies members.
The economies that make up the APEC, founded in 1989, are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, the United States, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru , Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
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