BANGKOK (May 22): Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawit urged members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to step up efforts to respond to future crises and achieve better and inclusive economic growth.
Jurin addressed the group’s trade ministers who are on two-day meeting 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 in a statement issued in conjunction APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting here.
As the host of APEC 2022, Thailand has chosen the theme “Open. Connect. Balance” to highlight the critical need for the region to continue its work in facilitating free and open trade and investment, promote seamless connectivity, and nurture balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth.
Trade ministers are convening against the backdrop of moderating economic growth and rising inflation in APEC member economies.
Jurin said APEC members 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.
“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.
“I would like to urge all member economies to use this meeting as an opportunity to promote APEC work towards tangible outcomes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jurin reiterated the importance of resuming safe and convenient cross-border travel and promote 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 (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. This is something very close to Thailand’s heart and we would like to pursue this as our priority this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, media reported that representatives of Japan, United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand briefly walked out of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on Saturday (May 21), in protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The incident happened when Russia’s economic development minister Maksim Reshetnikov started delivering his remarks on Saturday. The representatives of the five countries left the room for about 3-minute and returned to the table later.