Press Release : The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting  and the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting news3

Press Release : The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting

Viet Nam will host the APEC Leaders’ week from 8 – 11 November 2017 in Da Nang, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam with participation from APEC leaders, foreign ministers and trade ministers. H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand is scheduled to attend the the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) while H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Mrs. Apiradi Tantraporn, Minister of Commerce will attend the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM). 

APEC Leaders’ Week will commence from 8 November 2017 with the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and be followed by the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) from 10 to 11 November 2017. On the 10th of November, the leaders will hold discussions with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) followed by a welcome dinner hosted by the President and First Lady of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. On the 11th of November, the leaders will take part in a series of retreat-format meetings. The topic of discussion will be “Innovative Growth, Inclusion and Sustainable Employment in the Digital Age” in Retreat I and “New Driver for Regional Trade, Investment and Connectivity” for Retreat II.

Viet Nam as the host of APEC 2017 has identified the overarching theme of “Creating New Dynamism and Fostering Shared Future” and placed priorities to four areas namely (1) Promoting Sustainable, Innovative and Inclusive Growth, (2) Deepening Regional Economic Integration, (3) Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age, and (4) Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change.

Thailand’s objectives in attending this year’s summit is to share Thailand’s vision and its contribution to APEC especially in areas of trade facilitation, connectivity, Green Growth/Green Economy, human resource development, and the post-2020 APEC vision.

In line with this year’s priorities, Thailand will highlight its role on the issue of promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, which is an area where we have undergone economic reforms. The Royal Thai Government has prioritized human resource development on the national agenda in order to prepare Thai citizens and our society for emerging challenges including technological advances, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change. In this relation, we have implemented “Thailand 4.0” policy and vocational educational reform, which aims to develop occupational expertise in line with labor market demands. In addition, the Thai Government has initiated the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with an aim to supporting the government’s Super-Cluster and other targeted industries along the Eastern Seaboard. Moreover, in the agricultural sector, Thailand will share its experience in supporting local farmers to implement His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s “New Theory”, in accordance to the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, using new technology to modernize their agricultural activities to be “Smart Agriculture”.

Furthermore, Thailand recognizes that the inclusive connectivity in all dimensions -physical, institutional, people-to-people, and digital connectivity is a key factor to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. Thailand has accelerated infrastructure development which includes ground, water and air transportation to further strengthen linkage in the region. The “Thailand Plus One” policy encourages foreign entrepreneurs to invest in Thailand to gain a business foothold in neighboring countries as well. With regards to digital connectivity, the Royal Thai Government is upgrading its digital infrastructure by launching “Net Pracharat” project and an undersea cable development project linking Asia with Africa and Europe or Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1). Thailand stands ready to cooperate with other APEC member economies in order to achieve full connectivity in the Asia-Pacific Region which is in line with the APEC Connectivity Master Plan 2015 – 2025.

In addition, Thailand has played a leading role in promoting Green Economy and role of SMEs in the economic system. Thailand and Peru have worked together to develop the APEC Strategy for Green, Sustainable and Innovative MSMEs, which will serve as guidance for policymakers to create an enabling environment for MSMEs to engage in green business activities. The Strategy outlines future plans for activities on promoting green and sustainable MSMEs.  Five pilot sectors have been identified namely (1) Biomass and Renewable Energy, (2) Environmental – Friendly Construction Industry; (3) Tourism, (4) Food Industry, and (5) Textile Industry. This Strategy is expected to be one of the key outcomes of the APEC this year.

Thailand has realized that SMEs plays significant role in driving economic growth. In this regard, APEC has developed the APEC Cross Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework which will assist entrepreneurs of all sizes, particularly MSMEs, to easier access to international market and to further facilitate direct participation of MSMEs in global value chain.

Other issues that will be raised at the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting include the APEC post-2020 vision which will be beneficial in preparations for Thailand as a host of APEC in 2022.

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, Viet Nam will organize an informal discussion between APEC and ASEAN Leaders which will include the ASEAN countries whom are not members of APEC (Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia). This will be a great opportunity to deepening cooperation between both regional groupings.

APEC comprises of 21 member economies namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, The United States of America, and Viet Nam. Combined together, APEC accounts for approximately 2.8 billion of the world’s population, 58% of the global GDP, and trade among member economies are estimated at 48% of the world’s total trade. Finally, Thailand’s trade with other member economies account for 70% of the country’s total trade.