The Director-General of International Economic Affairs of Thailand as Thailand’s Senior Official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) attended the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) 2/2021 held virtually under New Zealand’s host year during 2-3 June 2021, where he advocated trade and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asia Pacific and stressed the importance of public-private partnership in driving the economy and the business sector forward.
Mr. Cherdchai Chaivaivid, Director-General of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, as Thailand’s Senior Official for APEC, attended the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) 2/2021 held virtually during 2-3 June 2021. The Meeting discussed a wide range of issues in APEC, including (1) combating COVID-19 through trade and investment cooperation, removing trade- and non-trade barriers, coordinating policy measures to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, medications and essential medical supply; (2) leveraging digital technology and innovation to enhance economic resilience as well as promoting structural reform to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), women, startups to grow and access the global market; and (3) promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, among others, environmentally-friendly trade and investment policies, energy efficiency, and net zero carbon emissions.
Director-General of International Economic Affairs of Thailand highlighted the importance of public-private partnership, especially the crucial role of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in advocating economically-sound and responsive policies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and accelerate economic recovery in the most affected sectors, particularly travel and tourism. One of the key deliverables was the APEC Roundtable on Safe Passage, jointly organised by Thailand, New Zealand and Malaysia on 7 May, which tasked the relevant APEC working groups to develop appropriate travel arrangements for air and maritime crews as well as essential workers. Such an APEC process would take into account safety and evolving circumstances in each economy and build on recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
APEC Senior Officials voiced support for the multilateral trading system, a strong and credible World Trade Organization (WTO), and structural reform to promote digital economy, access to funding and opportunities for MSMEs and startups, future of work, green economy, as well as a whole-of-system approach to food security. Thailand also shared the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model as a tool to promote economic recovery and the realisation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. To concretise and maximise APEC’s efforts, Thailand called on APEC economies to consider setting up a designated forum to advance sustainability and green agenda, which will be taken up during Thailand’s APEC host year in 2022.
These are some of the issues APEC economies are pushing forward in 2021. Latest updates can be found in the outcome of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting held on 5 June 2021. Please visit www.apec.org or www.apec2021nz.org for further information.