11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that, under the Thai chairmanship, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be open to all opportunities, connected in all dimensions and balanced in all aspects related the Asia Pacific region in the post pandemic era.

Emphasising Thailand’s theme of “Open, Connect and Balance”, Prayut said the summit is driven by the country’s vision to address the imbalances caused by the pandemic.

Under these circumstances, Thailand wants to push APEC members to work together to achieve economic growth through the integration of the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model.

He said APEC’s work is a long-term pursuit which requires a continual and coordinated effort. “Together we will fulfil our shared goal of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community for our people and their future generations,” he said.

The host has set November for the APEC leaders’ meeting at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. Thailand is hoping that the leaders of all 21 economies will attend the summit, to approve the planned Bangkok Declaration, which will bring APEC cooperation to a new level.

Last week, Thailand kicked off a series of senior official meetings (SOM) to set out priorities and deliverable cooperation during the Thai chairmanship.

The first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) and related meetings will be held virtually from February 14th to 25th. Other related meetings will follow throughout the week.

More than 30 working group meetings and seminars are scheduled during the period, covering issues related to trade, investment, connectivity, digitalization, food security, health, the environment and sustainable development.

All the outcomes of their deliberations will be reported to the SOM on February 24th and 25th.

APEC SOM is one of the key mechanisms for driving APEC’s work. Four such meetings are planned throughout the year and the results of their discussions and decisions will form part of the subsequent ministerial and leaders’ level meetings at the end of the year.

The first APEC SOM consists of 19 sub-fora meetings, under all four APEC Committees, as well as policy dialogues and meetings organised by Thailand to advance the host’s priorities. In addition, recommendations from the APEC Business Advisory Council will be deliberated at these meetings, to ensure that the APEC mechanism also incorporates and responds to the needs of the business sector.