APEC concludes with support for the Bangkok Goals


The 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) concluded their Summit in Thailand on Saturday with a declaration to support the Bangkok Goals on sustainable development and the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy.
 
“We hope that the BCG economic model will be one of the factors that bring economies together,” said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, adding that development needs to be sustainable and inclusive.
 
The Bangkok Goals on the BCG Economy cover climate change mitigation, sustainable trade and investment, environmental conservation and waste management. It is a comprehensive framework to advance APEC’s sustainability objectives.
 
Thailand is one of the countries most affected by climate change, according to the United Nations. PM Prayut stressed that climate change is an existential threat to all of humanity and said, “We must work together to mitigate its impact and protect our planet.”
 
The 21 APEC economies are home to 2.9 billion people and account for about half of global trade and over 60 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP).
 
Consensus was reached on a number of issues. In a period of high inflation, geopolitical tensions and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the member economies reaffirmed their commitment to a rules-based multilateral trading system. Officials said that they had made progress by establishing a plan to work towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
 
In the closing ceremony to hand over the role of APEC Chair to the next host, the United States, Prayut presented U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris with a Thai chalom, a traditional woven basket that symbolizes strength and flexibility.
 
“Our host year will demonstrate the enduring economic commitment of the United States to the Indo-Pacific,” VP Harris said.
 
“We are working to strengthen our economic relationships throughout the region, including by increasing two-way trade flows and the free flow of capital, which supports millions of American jobs,” the vice president said.