Thailand ready for APEC summit 2022

Next year will be a great year for Thailand as leaders from Asia and the Pacific region will gather face to face for a summit to discuss ways to promote sustainable recovery in the post Covid-19 world. This will be the first major event at which world leaders will gather and pledge to jointly cooperate to overcome challenges posed in the post-pandemic world.

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With less than six months to go before the next APEC summit in New Zealand, Thailand has been preparing to take over the chair from New Zealand in November. All government agencies have been briefed and are coordinating with one another to ensure that the APEC objectives set forth by Thailand are implemented in full.

Thailand will highlight three pivotal areas: 1) facilitating trade and investment; (2) rebooting regional connectivity, particularly the travel and tourism industry; and (3) advancing sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth through the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy.

To prepare for next year’s APEC summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a media-focus group, as a way to increase awareness and understanding among the media from all platforms. “We need the local media to tell the Thai people what the government is doing, not only for our own people, but also the Asia-Pacific region,” said Tanee Sangrat, the spokesperson.

The media-focus group has met twice with the authorities responsible for the APEC summit. Media representatives were briefed by experts in all areas relating to the above three priorities. Tanee said that by providing advance information and observations, local media can understand the impact of APEC 2022 on Thailand and the regional economy.

The dialogue with the media enables concerned officials to link up with journalists who write on different issues and ensure they have the relevant facts and data. In addition, the concerned government agencies and the private sector have the opportunity to get to know each other and work together in developing initiatives and projects.

One of the objectives is to build capacity in the digital economy, sustainable transportation, renewable energy, low-carbon emissions, innovative waste management, and structural reform to promote inclusive economic participation and access to opportunities.

Last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden chaired a retreat for 21 leaders representing APEC members. She stressed that the APEC leaders wanted to ensure that everybody in the world can have access to vaccines. “Our discussions moved us beyond vaccine nationalism. Now we are focusing on all aspects of contributing to the global vaccination effort—making vaccines, sharing vaccines and using vaccines.

She reiterated that nobody is safe from the virus until everyone is safe. The only way to speed up economic recovery from the pandemic is to deliver vaccines to everyone.

During the retreat, APEC leaders also discussed issues including individual domestic approaches to tackling Covid-19, ways and means to speed up the flow of vaccines and financial tools to ensure that commercial routines continue unabated./.

Kavi Chongkittavorn