FRIDAY, April 19, 2024

Apec ‘not affected’ by Russia-Ukraine conflict, insists Thailand

Apec ‘not affected’ by Russia-Ukraine conflict, insists Thailand

Russia-Ukraine tensions will not affect Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) during Thailand’s tenure as chair of the trade bloc, the Foreign Ministry said.

Russia is among the 21 Apec members but has been hit with severe economic sanctions by other members – including the US, Canada and Japan – over its invasion of Ukraine. The invasions and resulting sanctions come at an awkward time for Thailand as it prepares to host Apec summits this year.

Ministry permanent secretary Thanee Thongpakdee insisted that representatives of all Apec economies intend to continue promoting economic development and integration. He added that all were aware that a peaceful, open and dynamic Apec is necessary for sustainable development in every sector.

"Hence, we believe that all economic areas will cooperate, while we will see which aspect of cooperation we can promote in order to achieve goals set for the Putrajaya Vision 2040 [for free and sustainable trade]."

He added that consensus was also necessary for Apec cooperation and every member economy was aware that discussion and cooperation were crucial to achieve that goal.

Apec consists of 21 economic areas, of which the US, Russia, China and Japan are members with political and economic powers.

After taking over the rotating chair from New Zealand, Thailand declared the theme for 2022 Apec was "Open. Connect. Balance".

The theme aims to tackle inequality due to the Covid-19 crisis by using the BCG (bio-circular-green) economic model. Thailand is due to host the next Apec summit in October-November.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the summit would showcase Thailand's role as an "economic ambassador", creating opportunities for Thai citizens and economies.

He added that the Apec summit would show the country's potential to global citizens amid recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.