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New Zealand to use online platforms to host APEC summit

FILE PHOTO: New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand will use virtual digital platforms to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday, attributing the decision to uncertainty around travel due to the coronavirus.

“What we’ve done is we’ve determined that actually for the sake of certainty, let’s just plan for that virtual gathering,” Ardern said at a media briefing in Wellington.

“That means that we don’t have the added cost, the added disruption that the uncertainty of COVID brings.”

New Zealand, early this month, lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls, after declaring it was free of the coronavirus, while many countries are still grappling to contain the spread of the disease.

Ardern said the country has no plans to reopen its

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