Apec summit begins, Prayut focuses on sustainable economic growth

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Large screens in the media center at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center show Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chairing the Apec summit on Friday. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The annual Pacific Leaders Meeting kicked off in Bangkok on Friday with a focus on containing soaring food and energy prices in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and achieving inclusive and sustainable growth for the region.

Prime Minister and Apec host Prayut Chan-o-cha said he wanted this week’s meeting to discuss how leaders can contribute to the transition to sustainable economic growth and development.

North Korea’s launch of what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, which fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, early on Friday, is also expected to draw attention at the two-day summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Pacific of 21 members. .

APEC leaders should address climate change issues, as well as facilitate free, fair and sustainable trade and investment.

It was unclear whether they would be able to release a leaders’ statement after the summit, given disagreement over Russia’s aggression.

Western countries condemn Russia, but some member economies, such as China, have chosen not to sanction Moscow.

Apart from this, APEC leaders are expected to agree on issues such as promoting free and fair trade and investment.

They should also find common ground on the importance of transitioning to clean energy while ensuring energy security.

A day before the start of summit talks, ministers from the 21 economies hailed the Bangkok Goals, a government-initiated post-Covid-19 pandemic growth strategy addressing environmental and climate issues, pledging to urge Apec leaders to endorse the goals at their gathering.

Despite differences over the Ukraine crisis among member economies, including Japan, the United States and Russia, the leaders plan to adopt the “Bangkok goals” for the concept of a bio-circular-green economy.

Apec leaders were also scheduled to meet on Friday with the Apec Business Advisory Council, the only official private sector advisory body for Apec leadership consultation, made up of members from the 21 participating economies. ‘Apec.

Japanese ABAC members handed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida their proposal to Asia-Pacific leaders ahead of his departure, urging them to formulate ambitious and practical energy transition plans to a low-carbon economy, based on economic growth, energy resilience and decarbonization needs among forum members. (continued below)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese President Xi Jinpingn arrive Friday to attend the Apec summit. (Reuters/pool photo)

The Apec meeting is the last of three summit meetings in Southeast Asia – the summits linked to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh and the Group of 20 summit in Bali , as well as bilateral and trilateral talks on the sidelines.

US Vice President Kamala Harris attends the Bangkok summit in place of President Joe Biden. Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored it, as did the G-20 summit that ended Wednesday in Bali, Indonesia.

Representing around half of world trade and 60% of the global economy, Apec includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia. , Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

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