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APEC 2021

APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.


APEC is made up of 21 Pacific Rim members: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Viet Nam.

New Zealand was a founding member of APEC when it began in 1989, with only 12 members.

The focus of APEC’s work is connecting and integrating economies within the region so it is easier to do business within and between them. It does this by providing a forum for Leaders, Ministers and officials to meet, share experiences, and develop best practices and shared norms for trade and economic policy.

As New Zealanders, we know that being connected to the world and to the Asia-Pacific in particular really matters to our economic and social well-being.

Importantly APEC represents 71% of New Zealand’s two-way trade. In 2019, 73% of our total exports went to APEC members, while 70% of our imports came from those economies.

APEC implements a wide variety of initiatives to help integrate the region’s economies and promote trade while addressing sustainability and social equity.

Chairing APEC in 2021

New Zealand will be chairing APEC in 2021, at a crucial time as the region works to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Customs administrations were forced to adopt a range of new measures focussing on the new trade patterns, trade facilitation, lockdown constraints, and minimising health risks. These were practical responses to the COVID-19 situation that economies were facing, but many were also effective facilitation measures to streamline trade.

Customs will be responsible for virtually hosting the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) meetings at APEC. We will lead Customs’ related discussions with delegates from the 21 APEC economies. The meetings will be chaired by Rebecca Jonassen, Chief Legal Counsel at the New Zealand Customs Service.

Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP)

The SCCP is a forum that sits under Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI) and is focused on trade facilitation, trade security and related enforcement matters.

New Zealand Customs has developed draft policy initiatives and projects for APEC 2021.

Our first SCCP meeting was held over three days on 26, 27 February and 2 March 2021.

About the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) Chair 2021

The Chair of the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures for 2021 is Ms. Rebecca Jonassen.

Rebecca is currently Chief Legal Counsel – Corporate at the New Zealand Customs Service and a member of the Customs Strategic Leadership Team.

Before joining the New Zealand Customs Service in 2014, Rebecca worked at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). While at MFAT, she worked across a range of issues including trade, international security, Pacific and South-East Asia policy. She had a diplomatic posting in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Since joining New Zealand Customs, Rebecca has had the opportunity to work across the broad range of issues New Zealand Customs deals with in trade and travel facilitation, protection and enforcement, and revenue collection.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Auckland.

Contact us

If you have Customs-related questions on APEC 2021, please email us: apec@customs.govt.nz

Further information

Further information is also available via the website links below: