In the words of Minister Altmaier: “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit both our economy and the economies in the Asia-Pacific region very hard. For me, one thing has always been clear: going forward, we will need more and closer cooperation because crises can only be resolved in a collective effort, not unilaterally. This includes making our supply chains and supply routes more resilient. But it does not mean self-reliance – on the contrary: it means more trade, more international cooperation. The Asia-Pacific region in particular offers lots of opportunities to the benefit of both sides. We want to use today’s conference to continue intensifying and expanding our relations. To my great delight, my colleagues Hiroshi Kajiyama from Japan, Mathias Cormann from Australia, and the Indonesian ministers Airlangga Hartarto and Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan will be making key contributions to the APK in the interest of our bilateral cooperation. We are, after all, allies united in a shared commitment to rules based free trade, open markets and the modernisation of the WTO.”
Joe Kaeser, Chairman of the APA, emphasises the point of view of German businesses operating in Asia: “The global economy is facing unprecedented challenges – in geopolitical, technological and societal terms. To tackle these challenges, international cooperation is needed more than ever. Fair and free trade based on liberal, multilateral principles creates the foundations for this cooperation. This is the only way the fourth industrial revolution, the ‘Internet of Things’, can be successful and deliver the desired improvements for people all over the world,” said Joe Kaeser, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee. “For Germany and the EU, a long-term and reliable partnership with Asia is a key element of our foreign and economic relations. For more than twenty years, the APK has played a part in developing these relations. The first ‘APK Digital’ will continue this effort to promote cooperation between Germany, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and send out a signal of dialogue within a multilateral new world,” Kaeser continued.
Since 1986, the APK has been the flagship event organised by the APA, bilateral chambers of commerce and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with a view to promoting the economic ties between Germany and the Asia-Pacific region. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s APK will for the first time take place in a digital format. The talks and discussions will centre on common challenges such as the fight against COVID-19 and its economic impact, the modernisation of trade policy, the securing of global value chains, and strategies for in Asia and in Europe.