20/11/2022 01:00 PM

BANGKOK, Nov 20 (Bernama) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders pledged to intensify efforts towards inclusive economic recovery, post-pandemic.

In a statement, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) concluded on a high note on Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand, culminating in a much-awaited consensus on the 2022 Leaders’ Declaration.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, in his capacity as the Special Representative of the Prime Minister, led Malaysia’s delegation to the 29th APEC AELM from Nov 18 to 19.

MITI said the Declaration also reaffirmed APEC’s commitment to collectively work towards improving the health and well-being of the people in the Asia-Pacific region, while elevating their standard of living.

“Building upon the Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the Aotearoa Plan of Action, APEC leaders also underscored the importance of advancing APEC’s sustainability objectives in a bold, responsive and comprehensive manner,” it said.

The AELM 2022 began with the Leaders’ Retreat, which focused on balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth, anchoring on the overarching concept of Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy.

Under the chairmanship of Thailand and guided by the theme “Open. Connect. Balance.”, the meetings were chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha.

The AELM, the group’s first in-person summit in four years, was held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, here.

In 2019, the APEC Economic Leaders' Week (AELW) that was scheduled in Chile was cancelled due to anti-government protests across cities in the country. In 2020, Malaysia held a virtual AELW while in 2021, New Zealand hosted another virtual summit following a COVID-19 hiatus.

In his interventions, Mohd Zuki reiterated Malaysia’s commitments towards mitigating climate change, noting that it is one of the key priorities under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

He also expressed confidence that the BCG Economy Model will complement ongoing efforts to further integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) elements into economic activities, hence fostering ethical business practices and attracting sustainable investments into the region.

In relation to the deliberations by Leaders on the topic of sustainable trade and investment, the statement said Malaysia highlighted the need to further cement the position of APEC as an incubator of ideas which will serve to facilitate global economic recovery.

“This is particularly true as APEC is strategically positioned to not only complement the ongoing work undertaken at the World Trade Organisation, but also explore and develop pointed initiatives that extend specific support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” it said.

Mohd Zuki also participated in the APEC Leaders’ Informal Dialogue, which offered a platform for APEC Economies to exchange views regarding the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as mitigation of current economic challenges.

The Informal Dialogue – which also saw the participation of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Mohd Zuki highlighted that structural reform and digitalisation are key drivers that propel inclusive economic growth and improve the livelihoods of the people in the region.

Besides the Leaders’ Declaration, APEC leaders also endorsed the Bangkok Goals on the BCG Economy— a comprehensive framework to further APEC’s sustainability objectives.

APEC leaders will meet again in San Francisco in the United States next year.


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