APEC member economies are facing extensive sustainability challenges and there is an urgent need to embark on green structural reforms to tackle this and promote a green recovery from the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, an APEC report on structural reform in the Asia-Pacific region shows.

The 2022 APEC Economic Report, released while APEC officials are convening in Bangkok, Thailand, ahead of the APEC Annual Ministerial Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting this week, draws on examples from APEC member economies implementing structural reforms to promote sustainable outcomes. It finds that the proportion of fiscal stimulus spending on green initiatives is fairly small, and that most stimulus packages are spent on business-as-usual activities.

It argues that governments’ responses to economic shocks can provide the impetus and means to promote a green recovery that contributes both to economic growth and to improvements in environmental outcomes. 

“Fiscal stimulus spending on green initiatives is economically advantageous compared with traditional fiscal stimulus initiatives,” the report notes. “Continuous, consistent and predictable policies are needed for effective green structural reforms.”

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