BANGKOK: The leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies pledged to further boost trade to achieve a post Covid-19 recovery.
The 2022 Leaders’ Declaration was adopted during the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The leaders said they are determined to uphold and further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system. The leaders also welcomed the advancement of this agenda this year through a refreshed conversation on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
“We will continue to build on this momentum towards high quality and comprehensive regional undertakings through the FTAAP Agenda Work Plan. We task officials to report progress in carrying out the Work Plan to the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in the following years,” the leaders said.
The APEC leaders met in-person for the first time in four years on November 18 and 19 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok.
Under the APEC theme “Open Connect Balance”, the meeting advances work through three priorities: to be open to all opportunities, connected in all dimensions and balanced in all aspects, to advance long-term robust, innovative and inclusive economic growth as well as sustainability objectives in the Asia-Pacific region.
The declaration affirmed APEC Leaders’ long-standing commitment to promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth as well as their commitment to realise the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040.
In their declaration, the leaders said they are determined to uphold and further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system.
Besides that, the leaders said they would continue to advance digital tools to facilitate economic activities and the provision of public services, including the delivery of assistance and stimulus packages to the people, and to drive financial inclusion.
“We reaffirm the importance of sustainable financing, capacity building and technical assistance for innovation and growth as well as for addressing all environmental challenges, including climate change,” they said.
The leaders said macroeconomic and structural policies are vital to tackling rising inflation, ushering in sustained economic recovery and raising living standards in the region.
Meanwhile, APEC leaders also endorsed the Bangkok Goals on the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy – a comprehensive framework to further APEC’s sustainability objectives.
“We will advance the Bangkok Goals in a bold, responsive and comprehensive manner, building upon existing commitments and workstreams as well as considering new aspirational ones,” they said.
The declaration said the leaders would continue to mobilise its resources to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and reinforce their systems to prevent and prepare for, and respond to future health threats.
APEC leaders will meet again in the US next year. — Bernama