APEC adopts Bangkok Goals to top Thailand’s successful year as host
Thailand successfully hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) at Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok from November 14 to 19, 2022, with the series of high level meetings, discussions and events a culmination of Thailand’s year chairing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
With the conclusion of the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 19, APEC 2022 was officially brought to a close. The year proceeded under the theme “Open. Connect. Balance.”, and all three priorities remained at the forefront of talks during AELW.
Most notably, APEC Economic Leaders expressed agreement at their meeting that the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model, proposed at the top of the year by Thailand, would be helpful to APEC economies in achieving sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19 as well as build resilience to future challenges.
Adoption of the 2022 APEC Leaders’ Declaration and the Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy Model were marked as the highlight of both AELW and Thailand’s host year.
Among the top statements in the 2022 declaration was a reaffirmation of commitment to realizing the APEC Putrajaya Vision of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all the region’s people and future generations.
Meanwhile, coordination was called for across APEC to bolster sustainability through the Bangkok Goals. The four commitments of the document are climate action including net zero greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable trade and investment, conservation, sustainable use and management of the environment and natural resources, including biodiversity, and resource efficiency and sustainable waste management towards zero waste.
Adoption of the goals was counted among the three key deliverables from this year, alongside the FTAAP Agenda Work Plan 2023 – 2026, which is seeking to take forward the refreshed conversation on the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) in the post-COVID context, and the Safe Passage Taskforce’s recommendations on how APEC’s safe passage work should be carried forward to continue building resilience in the region’s travel infrastructure against future disruptions.
With progress also made in important areas, such as strengthening micro, small and medium sized enterprises and enhancing the role of women in the economy, APEC, as hosted by Thailand in 2022, was able to accomplish its aspirations of making this year all about being open to all opportunities, connected in all dimensions, and balanced in all aspects.