Thailand’s goal as APEC chair is to be a constructive player.

One of Thailand’s goals when it chairs the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2022 will be to provide bridges for attended countries to build cooperative relationships, including between the U.S. and China.

Thailand is one of the 12 founding members of APEC, which has grown to include 21 countries around the Pacific Rim. It last chaired the organization in 2003.

During the last two years, there have been trade tensions escalated within the group.

“Nobody wins a trade war,” said Cherdchai Chaivaivid, Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We will work with APEC member countries to resolve any trade tensions in a constructive manner.”

Thailand hopes to use its good relations with member countries to help advance better relations between those with trade conflicts, since Thailand has a track record as a “constructive player that can always find common ground between developed and developing nations in any setting.”

New Zealand is the current chair of APEC. The group’s leaders recently adopted the APEC Post-2020 Vision. The agenda calls for promoting trade and investment, digitization to spur economic growth, and improving business inclusivity for all groups, including women, people with disabilities, and rural communities.

Members have also been negotiating for an APEC Free Trade Area for several years. Thailand will work in support of achieving that ambition.

“The Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) has always been one of our goals. We are all pushing this agenda one way or another,” Cherdchai said.

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