World Leaders Dial in as New Zealand Hosts Special APEC Meeting on Pandemic



Pravenn Menon | Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and other world leaders meet virtually on Friday for the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, seeking collective actions to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.

New Zealand, the revolving Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host, said this week it will chair the extraordinary meeting ahead of a formal gathering in November, the first time such an additional meeting has been held.

The meeting highlights growing concerns around COVID-19 which is raging in the region as countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Australia face new waves of infections.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stressed the importance of the 21-economy group working together to navigate a way out of the pandemic in a call with Biden ahead of the meeting. 

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