The leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies pledged to further boost trade to achieve a post COVID-19 recovery, during the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Nations welcomed the advancement of the agenda this year through a refreshed conversation on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. “We will continue to build on this momentum towards high-quality and comprehensive regional undertakings through the FTAAP Agenda Work Plan. We task officials to report progress in carrying out the Work Plan to the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in the following years,” they said.
Under the APEC theme “Open Connect Balance”, the meeting advances work through three priorities: to be open to all opportunities, connected in all dimensions, and balanced in all aspects, to advance long-term robust, innovative and inclusive economic growth as well as sustainability objectives in the Asia-Pacific region.
The declaration affirmed APEC Leaders’ long-standing commitment to promoting strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth as well as their commitment to realise the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. In their declaration, the leaders said they are determined to uphold and further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system.
Besides that, they agreed to continue to advance digital tools to facilitate economic activities and the provision of public services, including the delivery of assistance and stimulus packages to the people, and to drive financial inclusion.
“We reaffirm the importance of sustainable financing, capacity building, and technical assistance for innovation and growth as well as for addressing all environmental challenges, including climate change,” they said.
The leaders said macroeconomic and structural policies are vital to tackling rising inflation, ushering in sustained economic recovery, and raising living standards in the region. Meanwhile, the APEC leaders also endorsed the Bangkok Goals on the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy— a comprehensive framework to further APEC’s sustainability objectives.
Under the declaration, they would continue to mobilise resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce systems to prevent and prepare for future health threats.
APEC leaders will meet again in the United States next year.