Apec meet boosts 'BCG economy'

Apec meet boosts 'BCG economy'

Sustainable growth the goal post-Covid

The ‘chalom’ (woven bamboo basket) logo was considered suitable for use at Apec summits due to its messages of positivity regarding issues such as sustainability and resilience. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
The ‘chalom’ (woven bamboo basket) logo was considered suitable for use at Apec summits due to its messages of positivity regarding issues such as sustainability and resilience. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The first Apec informal Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) has reinforced Thailand's concept of a "bio-circular-green" (BCG) economy to strengthen environmentally, socially and economically sustainable growth after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 50 representatives from international communities joined the three-day Apec Symposium on next year's priorities in Phuket.

The meeting, which started on Wednesday, was the first in-person Apec summit after almost 22 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thani Thongphakdi, Apec 2022 SOM Chair, said in his opening remarks that Thailand's host year will focus on charting a post-Covid-19 future for the Asia-Pacific region, together with promoting long-term growth that is resilient, inclusive, balanced and sustainable.

It should be done under an approach based on economic models like the BCG, he said.

"Driven by the BCG economy concept, the theme for Apec will be 'Open. Connect. Balance'. Together, we hope to make Apec open to all opportunities, connect in all dimensions and balance in all aspects," he said.

As the host of the Apec meeting next year, the government is hoping to achieve its plan to boost open trade and investment under a framework of Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) in the post-Covid context.

In terms of balance, he said, the government is committed to advancing Apec's sustainability and green growth agenda by scaling up actions through existing frameworks and advocate a whole-of-society and whole-of-system approach to deliver tangible results.

Suvit Maesincee, former minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, said the private sector is a key element to achieve the plan. It must adjust its mindset from an engine for economic growth to one for balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth. Science, technology and innovation are the keys for BCG, he said.

Riccardo Mesiano, sustainable development officer from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said the world community should speed up its action to achieve the global development goal by 2030 because the situation was not good before the Covid-19 outbreak, and was even "backward in some targets".

Meanwhile, Poramin Watanakornbancha, co-founder of the Ali Nature company, said the government should support green incentives for small and medium enterprises.

Ronadol Numnonda, deputy governor of Financial Institutions Stability, Bank of Thailand, said time is needed to transform to green finance, especially to collect and prepare big data.

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