PM ready to take up Apec chair

PM ready to take up Apec chair

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is preparing to take up the chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting from New Zealand next year.

The focus topics for next year's meeting will be regional connection, trade stimulation and the biocircular and green (BCG) economic model, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, said yesterday.

The Apec meeting this year is hosted by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with a focus on regional response and recovery from Covid-19 in terms of three policy priorities -- economic and trade policies that strengthen recovery, increasing inclusion and sustainability for recovery, and pursuing innovation and a digitally enabled recovery.

The Apec chairmanship will fall on Thailand's shoulders at the end of the virtual meeting of 28th Apec Economic Leaders Week (AELW) which will take place from Nov 11-12.

At 7pm, Gen Prayut will participate in a meeting between the AELW and Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) Leaders Dialogue.

He will also deliver a speech at an Apec CEO summit tomorrow afternoon and another AELW meeting at 6pm, Mr Thanakorn said.

Gen Prayut, he said, was keen on Thailand promoting regional connections and trade and investment stimulation, as well as the BCG economic model as a path towards more sustainable growth.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon attended the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting Retreat yesterday, with a focus on paradigm shifts and preparing Asean for new threats.

Gen Prawit was asked by Gen Prayut, who is also the defence minister, to attend the meeting on his behalf. The event was hosted by the Bruneian defence minister via a video teleconference, Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said.

The meeting exchanged views on handling future challenges caused by the change of geostrategy, especially competition among powerful countries.

The meeting also discussed Indo-Pacific cooperation that affected Asean, cyber security, climate change, and public health emergencies.

Gen Kongcheep said Gen Prawit stressed Asean unity in strengthening the regions and suggested a strategic draft for sharing military resources, as well as promoting Asean cooperation between departments.

Thailand also participated in a joint meeting with defence ministers from Asean and South Korea on cyber security and protection against new threats, as well as how Australia will be involved in bilateral relations on security and peace.

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