Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawit called upon Trade Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies to step up efforts to respond to future crises and achieve better and more inclusive economic growth in the future.
Deputy Prime Minister Jurin addressed trade ministers who are meeting on Saturday and Sunday in Bangkok to detail their economies’ perspectives on the future of trade policy, especially for reviving and strengthening regional economic integration, supporting the multilateral trading system and reconnecting people, businesses, trade and investment
“I strongly hope that the outcome of this meeting will include a strong policy stance regarding the recovery of the regional economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, from where we should emerge stronger than ever in order to cope with future crises,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Jurin highlighted Thailand’s theme of “Open. Connect. Balance.”, and urged member economies to advance APEC’s work in deepening economic integration and mobilizing the progress of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), while incorporating lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to help those across all segments of society, including women and youth.
He also reiterated the importance of resuming safe and convenient cross-border travel and promoting digital and supply chain connectivity while taking into account environmental protection and bolstering food and agricultural security to ensure the well-being of the region’s people.
“In this spirit, Thailand introduced the concept of bio-circular-green economy, or BCG, as our main policy to drive the three key priorities during our year of APEC chairmanship, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises within our economies,” Deputy Prime Minister Jurin added. “This is something very close to Thailand’s heart and we would like to pursue this as our priority this year.”
On the table for trade ministers is paving the way forward for regional economic integration and APEC’s support for the multilateral trading system. They are considering unfolding developments, including the moderation of growth, supply chain disruptions and soaring fuel and food prices. Ministers also heard from the Director General of the World Trade Organization on global trade outlook.
A complementary focus for trade ministers is advancing APEC’s new vision, the Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the Aotearoa Plan of Action, which guide the implementation of practical means to create an open, dynamic resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community.
“We need to further the promotion of digital trade and e-commerce, for example, encourage economic recovery, and strengthen connectivity in all dimensions, people, goods and services,” Deputy Prime Minister Jurin added. “This covers the transportation system, people mobility and regulatory coherence, especially to increase the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises into our global value chains.”
Trade ministers are convening against the backdrop of moderating economic growth and rising inflation in APEC member economies.
“We would like to see the APEC economies more equipped to respond to future crises and achieve better and more inclusive economic growth in the future,” Deputy Prime Minister Jurin concluded. “I would like to urge all member economies to use this meeting as an opportunity to promote APEC work towards tangible outcomes.”
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