APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting concludes with adoption of declaration, Bangkok Goals

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Photo taken on Nov. 19, 2022 shows Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at a press conference after the conclusion of the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies issued a declaration and endorsed an outcome document on Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy on Saturday.

The declaration, adopted after the two-day 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, affirmed APEC leaders' long-standing commitment to promoting strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as their commitment to realizing the APEC Putrajaya Vision of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040.

In the declaration, the leaders said they are determined to uphold and further strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system. They welcomed progress this year in advancing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and will continue to build on this momentum towards high-quality and comprehensive regional undertakings through the FTAAP Agenda Work Plan.

Member economies will continue to promote efforts to strengthen APEC's leadership, standing as the premier economic forum of the Asia-Pacific, as well as a modern, efficient and effective incubator of ideas. APEC's cooperation will contribute to practical solutions for common challenges and complement global efforts including the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the declaration said.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing an open and interconnected Asia-Pacific region, including through the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint (2015-2025).

They also pledged to strengthen physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity as well as take advantage of digital connectivity, and intensify efforts to promote regional, sub-regional and remote area connectivity through quality infrastructure development and investment.

The leaders said they will accelerate the implementation of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER) to harness new and emerging technologies and the full potential of the society as well as create an enabling, inclusive, open, fair and non-discriminatory digital ecosystem for businesses and consumers.

Member economies endorsed the Bangkok Goals on the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy as a comprehensive framework to further APEC's sustainability objectives, saying they will advance the Bangkok Goals in a bold, responsive and comprehensive manner, building upon existing commitments and workstreams as well as considering new aspirational ones, the declaration said.

By adopting the Bangkok Goals, APEC moves forward with outlining how to achieve its comprehensive and ambitious sustainability and inclusion objectives, while reinforcing and contributing to ongoing global actions, according to the outcome document of Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy.

APEC will marshal existing targets and workstreams in conjunction with the goals, key areas and aspirational targets including addressing all environmental challenges, progressing sustainable and inclusive trade and investment, promoting environmental conservation, sustainable use and management of natural resources, and advancing resource efficiency and sustainable waste management towards zero waste, the document said.

The furtherance of the sustainability agenda in a comprehensive and ambitious manner will support APEC's growth trajectory towards a strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive future, said the document.

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

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told a press conference that the Bangkok meeting is a shared success by all APEC members, who wish to see the regional framework operating in the face of volatile global contexts to advance economic growth for the future of the region.

Also on Saturday, the prime minister handed over the APEC chairmanship to the United States for APEC 2023.

This year's meeting is the first in-person gathering of the APEC economic leaders since 2018, which was held under the theme of "Open, Connect, Balance."

The leaders met as the global economic recovery is facing multiple challenges of rising inflation, geopolitical tensions, climate change and COVID-19 pandemic.

APEC, established in 1989, is a premier regional economic forum with an aim to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

With nearly 40 percent of the world population, the 21 APEC member economies account for about half of global trade and over 60 percent of the world's total gross domestic product.

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