Insights from the world: APEC economies pledge to promote sustainable development as Bangkok targets are adopted – Xinhua | Wonder Mind Kids

A logo of APEC 2022 is pictured on a street in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 16, 2022. (Source: Xinhua/Wang Teng)

With the adoption of the Bangkok Goals, APEC is moving forward with a plan to meet its comprehensive and ambitious sustainability and inclusion goals while reinforcing and contributing to ongoing global actions.

BANGKOK, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) concluded their annual meeting here on Saturday after releasing a statement and outcome document on the bio-circular green (BCG) economy had approved model.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called the Bangkok meeting a joint success of all APEC members and told a press conference that APEC must work to build resilience and ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth.

The statement, adopted after the two-day meeting of APEC business leaders, reaffirmed APEC leaders’ longstanding commitment to promoting strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as their commitment to realizing the APEC-Putrajaya vision of a open, vibrant, resilient and peaceful Asia Pacific community by 2040.

The Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy, which includes mitigating climate change, sustainable trade and investment, environmental protection and waste management, is a comprehensive framework to advance APEC’s sustainability goals.

This year’s gathering marks the first in-person gathering of APEC business leaders since 2018, held under the theme “Open, Connect, Balance.”

This photo taken on Nov. 14, 2022 shows the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

LOWER REGIONAL INTEGRATION

The Pacific Rim region has experienced various crises in the past and recovered quickly from the 1997 financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis thanks to its deep economic integration and robust supply chains.

The Asia-Pacific region, now the world’s most dynamic growth belt, has embarked on a journey of regional integration for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic recovery in recent years.

Amid headwinds of rising inflation, rising geopolitical tensions, climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, APEC leaders pledged their determination to uphold and further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system and welcomed progress in this year in the further development of the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP).

APEC’s cooperation will contribute to practical solutions to common challenges and complement global efforts, including the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the statement said.

APEC Secretariat Executive Director Rebecca Sta Maria believed that free trade agreements are helpful in strengthening supply chains, deepening economic integration and increasing the transparency and predictability of rules.

Deep economic integration is a strength, and all regional economies should benefit from it to get through the challenging period, Maria told Xinhua.

The 21 APEC economies are home to 2.9 billion people and account for about half of world trade and over 60 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product.

Stephen Jacobi, Deputy Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council and Executive Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum, also stressed the importance of deeper regional economic integration to address regional and global challenges.

“In these difficult times, it is vital that the Asia-Pacific economies continue to push for deeper economic integration within a high-quality rulebook,” he said.

“This is a time in world history when free and open trade should be reaffirmed, not reassessed. Countries and their people gain from free trade and lose from protectionism,” said Craig Emerson, director of the Australian APEC Study Center at RMIT. University.

Aerial photo taken on November 12, 2022 shows Benjakitti Park in Bangkok, Thailand. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

GREEN, SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

APEC leaders pledged to boldly, responsively and comprehensively advance the Bangkok Goals, combining existing commitments with new ambitious ones.

“APEC examined approaches such as the BCG Economic Model, which integrates three economic approaches that use technology and innovation to create value, reduce waste, drive resource efficiency and promote sustainable business models,” according to the Bangkok Goals.

These goals will be implemented through an enabling regulatory framework, capacity building, facilities and quality infrastructure, and a global network, said Thani Thongphakdi, Chair of the APEC 2022 Senior Officials’ Meeting, at a press conference.

“There is the existential threat of climate change, which is affecting not just the Asia-Pacific region, but humanity as a whole. Therefore, we must work together to mitigate its impact and protect our planet,” Prayuth told Friday’s APEC business leaders’ meeting.

With the adoption of the Bangkok Goals, APEC is moving forward with a plan to meet its comprehensive and ambitious sustainability and inclusion goals while reinforcing and contributing to ongoing global actions.

“Sustainable development is the common aspiration of the Asia-Pacific economies. We believed that the green economy and measures to address climate change will bring a broader, more balanced and more sustainable recovery in the Asia-Pacific region,” said President Low Kian Chuan of Malaysia’s Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

This year’s APEC meeting integrates sustainability and inclusivity goals along with economic goals. This is in line with China’s concept of green, balanced and sustainable development.

At the Bangkok meeting, China called for joint efforts to build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future. The proposal is in line with APEC’s aspiration to build an open, vibrant, resilient and peaceful community in Asia Pacific by 2040.

“The Asia-Pacific miracle is the result of the efforts of all Asia-Pacific economies to promote trade and economic integration, to link the region more closely, and thereby achieve prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” Low said.

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