PM Lee to attend Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be taking part in the Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting from Nov 17 to 19, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be in Bangkok from Thursday to Saturday to attend the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

Apec leaders will be meeting at their annual summit for the first time in person since they last met in Papua New Guinea in 2018. Their meeting in 2019 was to be held in Chile, but the country cancelled it amid a wave of local protests. Malaysia and New Zealand hosted virtual summits in 2020 and 2021, respectively, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apec’s 21 member economies mostly take turns to chair the grouping and host its annual meeting. This year’s meeting in Thailand’s capital will be chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Wednesday that during the meeting, Apec economic leaders will discuss ways to accelerate the recovery of the global economy.

This would be through the promotion of balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as trade and investment, including leveraging innovative approaches such as the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model.

The model aims to apply science, innovation and technology to promote the efficient use of resources, maintain and restore ecosystems, and reduce waste to build a system where government and business can thrive.

Apec is a regional economic forum established in 1989. Its member economies account for close to half of global trade and more than 60 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product. They include seven of the 10 Asean nations, as well as Australia, China, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

Thailand has also invited France, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia to the meeting.

China’s Foreign Ministry has said that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be among the world leaders in attendance. US Vice-President Kamala Harris is slated to attend instead of President Joe Biden, who is attending his granddaughter’s wedding. Recent reports have said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the summit.

PMO added that while in Bangkok, PM Lee will also hold bilateral meetings with other Apec leaders on the sidelines of the meeting. He will be accompanied by senior officials from the PMO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman are also attending the 33rd Apec Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday and Thursday.

They will take part in discussions on promoting balanced and inclusive economic growth, as well as on sustainable trade and investment, said a joint statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry. They will also hold bilateral meetings with other Apec ministers.

The Apec summit is yet another high-level meeting that PM Lee is attending in November, after the Asean and East Asia summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as well as the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be the Acting Prime Minister in PM Lee’s absence.

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