Thailand backs APEC statements

Thailand backs APEC statements

Thailand has voiced support for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)'s three key statements on the facilitation of the Covid-19 vaccine and movement of essential goods as well as expressing readiness to host the APEC meeting next year.

Commerce minister Jurin Laksanawisit said after a video conference with New Zealand's Minister of Trade and Export Growth, Damien O'Connor, that Thailand has agreed to support New Zealand's proposal to issue three important documents at the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting to be held on June 5.

APEC's MRT joint statement will focus on three issues.

The first regards the facilitation of the Covid-19 vaccine movement that requires that APEC countries not restrict Covid-19 vaccine exports, except certain restrictions specified by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The second is to support the movement of essential goods and promote cooperation in logistics on imports and exports through various checkpoints and digital systems, including medical equipment, vaccines, food, agricultural products and home appliances in the new normal era.

The third is to promote trade as an important tool to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic under the WTO's multilateral trading system and sustainability with support in particular for the bio-economy, circular economy and green economy.

Mr Jurin has informed Mr O'Connor that he is interested in participating in the joint meeting between APEC trade ministers and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) to be held on June 4 to jointly formulate policies and guidelines for dealing and rehabilitating regional economies amid the Covid-19 crisis.

In yesterday's discussion, New Zealand asked Thailand to support the import of New Zealand's onion seeds, with a 0% import tariff under the Thailand-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

Meanwhile, Mr Jurin said Thailand has asked New Zealand to increase the imports of necessary products to cope with the Covid-19 situation including rubber gloves, rubber products, processed food, pet food and fruits such as lychees, longans, mangosteens and mangos.

He added Thailand will be ready to host the APEC meeting next year after New Zealand.

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