Sydney, Australia, Jul 12 (EFE).- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that she would hold a virtual summit of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum leaders Friday to address the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and its economic effects.
“The APEC economies have suffered in the last year their largest contraction since World War II, resulting in the loss of 81 million jobs, so a collective response is vital to accelerate the economic recovery of the region,” Ardern said in a statement.
Covid-19, which has infected 50 million people (including 1 million deaths), among the 2,9 billion inhabitants in APEC territories, caused a joint contraction of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.9 percent last year, according to data from this block.
It is the first time that APEC, which accounts for 60 percent of world GDP, has held an additional summit of its 21 leaders outside its regular schedule, said the prime minister of New Zealand, the host country for this year’s meetings.
The informal summit will address vaccination programs, measures for greater regional coordination for recovery, and support for inclusive and sustained long-term growth.
Leaders also plan to discuss the implementation of the roadmap called “Putrajaya Vision 2040,” which is intended to replace the Bogor Goals signed in the 1990s, according to a statement from the host this year.
The APEC forum, founded in 1989, represents 60 percent of world GDP, more than half of global trade, forms a market of some 2.85 billion consumers – 40 percent of the world population – and aims to establish a zone of free trade between the 21 member economies.
The economies that make up APEC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, United States, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. EFE