APEC 2021 – New Zealand

Overview of an extraordinary host year

Haumi ē, Hui ē, Taiki ē

APEC 2021 – Join, Work, Grow. Together.

APEC 2021 united the region in a coordinated response to the biggest economic downturn in 75 years, under the theme Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Taiki ē.

APEC’s spirit of cooperation strengthened. These connections will benefit the Asia-Pacific’s 2.7 billion people in the years to come.

Highlights from APEC 2021

About APEC 2021

As APEC 2021 host, New Zealand set an agenda focused on policies to manage the economic and health effects of COVID-19 and to help communities recover.

APEC’s 21 economies worked together to find practical solutions to defeat COVID-19, accelerate the region’s economic recovery, respond to climate change, and build inclusive growth.

Delivering a year of virtual meetings

The year of virtual meetings highlighted how digital diplomacy can be effective.

New Zealand’s objectives and priorities

Objectives were set to respond to the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

APEC 2021 Theme

APEC 2021 was the most important diplomatic event New Zealand had hosted in a generation.

For the APEC region to successfully rebuild and recover would take the same kind of teamwork and cooperation required to build a waka.

The words “Join, Work, Grow. Together. “Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē” described the collaborative effort required to reach a common goal.

The Theme

Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.

Leaders’ garment and gifting

Presenting gifts was an important way of showing manaakitanga.

APEC CEO Summit 2021

The APEC CEO Summit 2021 was a virtual gathering of some of the world’s most prominent businesspeople, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and world leaders.

They talked about the ways the region can learn from each other and work together and to ensure it emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever.

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The APEC Business Advisory Council was a strong voice for business during 2021.

Voices of the Future

Youth engagement with APEC issues was restored through our championing of the Voices of the Future.

Key Policy Achievements

New Zealand ensured APEC’s agenda was relevant to the issues the region was grappling with, in particular responding to the health and economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During APEC’s first fully virtual year, members laid the foundations for an inclusive, sustainable recovery – setting APEC’s agenda for the next 20 years.

While hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum virtually in the midst of a global pandemic was challenging, New Zealand progressed our 5 objectives and 3 policy priorities including increasing inclusion and sustainability for recovery.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's opening remarks at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting

Aotearoa Plan of Action

New Zealand led the successful development of the Aotearoa Plan of Action, which will set the direction of APEC’s work for the next 20 years.

The plan is an important legacy for New Zealand’s host year, highlighting APEC’s commitment to creating an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community for future generations.


Introducing the Aotearoa Plan of Action

Putting Indigenous on the APEC agenda

In 2021 New Zealand successfully put indigenous peoples on the APEC agenda and connected Māori with APEC’s work.

Projects ranged from the interdependence between science and traditional knowledge, Indigenous food security, measurement of indigenous economies, indigenous women’s economic empowerment, and Indigenous economic recovery from COVID-19.


Introducing the Aotearoa Plan of Action

Voices of APEC 2021

The Voices of APEC21 presents engaging, short (2-4 min) interviews with nine key APEC NZ team managers and specialists sharing the most significant challenges, solutions and learnings they faced as they designed and delivered a New Zealand infused environment in which these critical outcomes could be collaboratively achieved.

Guide to Producing High-Stakes Virtual Meetings

APEC has drawn from its unique learnings to compile a resource on “Producing High Stakes Virtual Meetings”. This is a practical guide on how to impactfully and confidently host complex, high stakes virtual meetings.

Our Work with APEC

APEC is a group of 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region that works to create greater prosperity for people across the region through balanced, inclusive, sustainable and innovative growth.

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APEC creating prosperity

APEC allows members to deal with new challenges to Asia-Pacific’s economic well-being.

Why APEC matters

Member economies are home to 2.7 billion people and generate almost half of the world’s trade.

Find out more

Find out more about New Zealand’s APEC 2021 host year through the posts and videos on our social media and YouTube channels.


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