APEC Business Advisory Council seeks Indigenous input . . .
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) held its first-ever Indigenous Business Leaders’ Dialogue on Tuesday, with more than 100 attendees from 14 economies. The dialogue is part of New Zealand’s push as the APEC 2021 chair to include Indigenous voices and values across all APEC’s policy areas. New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, the first Indigenous woman in her position, spoke at the meeting: “We can draw on our unique experience to bring Indigenous relationships and values to the fore of foreign policy, business, and trade [and doing so] is a pathway to greater social inclusion, democratic participation, and economic contribution . . . it is my hope that we can work to increase the number of Indigenous voices in APEC.”
Statement of Priorities . . .
The meeting began with opening remarks from New Zealand’s ABAC Chair Rachel Taulelei, Minister Mahuta, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland (the first Indigenous woman in her role). The discussion then proceeded around three main components of the Indigenous Business Leaders’ Dialogue’s Statement of Priorities: 1) how to stimulate and incentivize Indigenous business growth and scalability for greater cross-border collaboration; 2) how to address the infrastructure needs of rural and remote Indigenous communities; and, 3) how to address the data needs of the Indigenous business sector within APEC economies. The meeting wrapped up with the participants supporting the draft statement. There are about 245 million Indigenous peoples within APEC’s 21 member economies.
APEC’s 2040 vision and Canada’s role . . .
The Statement of Priorities is aligned with APEC’s adoption of the Putrajaya Vision to 2040, which commits APEC to work toward an “open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.” The next steps include presenting the statement at meetings in August and having it accepted by all 21 APEC member economies. The movement for Indigenous business inclusion within APEC also aligns with Canada’s aspirational goals of creating an inclusive Canadian economy and foreign policy. Canada can play its part by raising awareness of and supporting the Statement of Priorities at future APEC meetings. As Minister Mahuta said, “advancing Indigenous inclusion is more important than ever because of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities and businesses, and the need to aid Indigenous economic recovery.”
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- New Zealand Government: Speech to the ABAC Indigenous Business Leaders' Dialogue
- Twitter: APEC Business Advisory Council