APEC – Challenges after the pandemic

Interview with Tan Sri Rebecca Sta by Volker Friedrich

In this interview with Tan Sri Datuk Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria Volker Friedrich speaks about the present economic challenges after COVID19 and the future direction of the APEC economies.

With Thailand as the chair for 2022 many important agenda items will be set for the future directions of the APEC economies from sustainability, renewable energy and an integrative and inclusive approach for future cooperation.

Tan Sri Rebecca is the executive director of the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore and APEC represents 21 economies covering around 60% of world GDP (www.apec.org). APEC serves as advisory body, implementation arm and custodian of institutional memory for the 21 member economies. Dr Sta Maria was a top-level Malaysian civil servant and trade negotiator.

As Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry she often took the lead in their implementation as chief negotiator for bilateral and regional free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dr Sta Maria chaired the body that drafted the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 Blueprint as well as the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 Blueprint.

An accomplished academic and writer, Dr Sta Maria’s scholarship has been recognized through awards from the American Academy of Human Resource Development and from the University of Georgia. In 2017, she authored a book about her personal slice of Malaysian heritage and cuisine, called The Smell of Home.

Dr Sta Maria is the first woman executive director of the APEC Secretariat.

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