12 Jun 2021

Rachel Taulelei: using trade as a tool to combat Covid-19

From Saturday Morning, 10:35 am on 12 June 2021
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Photo: Virginia Woolf Photography

Earlier this week officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) released a statement saying they would “consider removing unnecessary barriers to trade in services, particularly those services that expedite and facilitate the flow of essential goods”.

The APEC statement follows a dialogue with Rachel Taulelei, the 2021 chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council. Taulelei is a strong advocate for the unrestricted trade of vaccines and essential medical supplies, as barriers around the import and export of vaccines has been a key issue preventing wide-spread immunisation in developing countries.

Taulelei, who is also the CEO of Māori-owned food and beverage company Kono, says it’s not a time for “business as usual”, and that the pandemic must remain the highest priority.