Discussion on “safe passage” among APEC members takes centre stage
Senior APEC officials have continued to discuss proposals related to “safe passage” schemes which, as part of Thailand’s priorities, could be key deliverables, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tanee Sangrat.
Tanee said that, at the 2nd APEC Safe Passage Taskforce (SPTF2) Meeting, held on Monday and chaired by Director General of Department of International Economics Affairs Cherdchai Chaivaivid, senior APEC officials discussed ways to push the safe passage agenda, in realisation of Thailand’s “Connect in all Dimensions” initiative.
The APEC Safe Passage Taskforce (SPTF), established this year, follows Thailand’s recommendation to coordinate APEC’s efforts on safe passage.
The meeting, Tanee said, provided an opportunity for APEC economies to share experiences and best practices in facilitating cross-border travel and to follow up on the development of key safe passage proposals.
As the APEC host, Thailand has proposed three such schemes, an APEC information portal, for safe passage across the region, interoperability of vaccination verification systems and a more inclusive APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), expanded to cover a broader range of businesses.
The meeting also discussed new proposals from Russia, the Philippines and the US, according to the spokesperson. These proposals will facilitate the resumption of safe and seamless cross-border travel in the APEC region, as well as promote long-term business mobility and resilience to future disruptions.
The region’s travel and tourism industries in particular will benefit greatly from APEC’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the resumption of safe and seamless cross-border travel which will, in turn, contribute to the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.