APEC goes Virtual: NewZealand to host the 21 nation summit digitally

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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APEC 2019
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New Zealand, the host of next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will utilize virtual digital platforms to conduct the event citing prevalent uncertainties around global travel due to the coronavirus.

Jacinda Ardern

“What we’ve done is we’ve determined that actually for the sake of certainty, let’s just plan for that virtual gathering. That means that we don’t have the added cost, the added disruption that the uncertainty of COVID brings.”
Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister of New Zealand

Leaders of the 21 member countries were expected to gather for the APEC 2021 summit in New Zealand at the end of next year. The pandemic has also caused disorder in Malaysia, this year’s summit host which suspended a series of pre-event meetings, but it remains committed to conducting the summit in November.

Early this month, New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls, declaring that it was free of the coronavirus, while several nations across the globe are still struggling to contain the spread of the disease.

About Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. according to the APEC website its members “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.”