SINGAPORE - Enhancing plans to combat climate change and making a concerted effort to support businesses and people in riding the digital wave are two ways Apec nations can ensure inclusive and sustainable growth for a more resilient Asia-Pacific region, said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
The third focus area is to intensify connectivity between people, added Mr Gan, who represented Singapore at the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Bangkok over the weekend (May 21 and 22).
The meeting was attended by ministers and senior officials from the 21 Apec economies.
At the meeting, Mr Gan also said Apec could take the opportunity at the upcoming 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference next month to ensure a more resilient multilateral trading system, and prepare the WTO to deal better with future crises.
Apec could also leverage the growth of digital trade and the digital economy for a stronger post-pandemic economic recovery, he added.
Mr Gan said Apec economies should strongly encourage the ministerial conference to give a clear mandate to undertake WTO reform in a structured and systematic manner.
On the sidelines of the meeting in Thailand, Mr Gan participated in a ministers' dialogue with the Apec Business Advisory Council on Saturday.
At the dialogue, ministers and council representatives exchanged views on how the proposed Apec's Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific agenda could contribute to supporting regional economic recovery and growth in a sustainable manner, and ensure that the region is prepared for future crises.
Mr Gan affirmed that Singapore would continue to work with Apec economies to contribute to the global conversation on opportunities arising through digital transformation.
He also met representatives of Singapore companies active in Thailand, and had bilateral meetings with ministerial counterparts from eight countries, including New Zealand, the United States, Chile and Peru.