1. Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Lee Seong-ho attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held in a virtual format from December 9 to 11, and assessed the progress made in APEC this year and discussed the way forward for next year’s activities.
2. The member Economies noted with appreciation that despite the difficult situation caused by COVID-19 this year, APEC has produced meaningful results, including the adoption of the “Putrajaya Vision 2040,” a blueprint for the next 20 years of APEC, at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (Nov. 20), and expressed their resolve to continue to strengthen cooperation on COVID-19 response and the recovery of the region.
3. New Zealand, the chair of APEC for 2021, announced that the theme for next year’s APEC will be “Join, Work, Grow. Together” and the three priority areas will be “Economic and trade policies that strengthen recovery,” “Increasing inclusion and sustainability for recovery,” and “Pursuing innovation and a digitally enabled recovery.”
4. Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Lee Seong-ho noted that this SOM was a timely opportunity to think together over APEC’s role in the recovery of the Asia-Pacific region, and stressed that to ensure the effectiveness of the “Putrajaya Vision 2040,” APEC should establish a priority-based systematic implementation plan next year.
o In addition, he explained that Korea is pursuing the “Korean New Deal” as a long-term national development strategy to prepare for the post-COVID-19 era, and mentioned that Korea will contribute to sharing various policies and experiences to facilitate recovery in the Asia-Pacific region.
5. The SOM, held amid the prolonged global health and economic crisis, served as an opportunity for the member Economies to affirm their commitment to cooperating in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, promoting the recovery of the Asia-Pacific, and preparing for the post-COVID-19 era, and to set the direction of APEC’s activities next year.