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Prime Minister Highlights Cooperation on Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has highlighted cooperation on access to and distribution of vaccines and economic recovery from COVID-19 at the APEC Informal Leaders' Retreat, according to the Ministry of foreign Affairs.

The Prime Minister attended the APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat in a virtual format on 16 July 2021, when he also focused on the resumption of safe cross-border travel and measures to support MSMEs and start-ups to accelerate COVID-19 recovery, while reaffirming Thailand’s commitment to sharing the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model towards sustainable and balanced growth in the Asia-Pacific.

The Meeting discussed policy responses to overcome the health and economic crisis from COVID-19 and accelerate economic recovery through (1) ensuring equitable access to vaccines as well as expanding vaccine manufacturing and supply; (2) macroeconomic policies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and boost economic recovery in line with international efforts on debt, financing for developing economies and a fairer global tax system; and (3) support for long-term balanced and sustainable growth.

The Prime Minister stressed four key actions for APEC: (1) securing equitable access to and immediate distribution of safe COVID-19 vaccines for all as a top priority in the short term, whilst enhancing and diversifying vaccine production and manufacturing capacities; (2) resumption of safe cross-border movements to revive the economies, and working towards a common travel arrangement and mutual recognition of vaccination certificates to facilitate and stimulate international travel and tourism in the region; (3) measures to help MSMEs and start-ups by harnessing digitalization, supporting their transition to the new normal, and building flexibility and resilience against future shocks and crises; and (4) long-term recovery policies that address environmental challenges and sustainability in tandem with economic growth. Thailand looks forward to sharing the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model to promote a holistic approach in APEC towards balanced and sustainable growth.

The extraordinary Informal Leaders’ Retreat was initiated by New Zealand to provide opportunities for APEC Economic Leaders to discuss how the Asia-Pacific can collaborate in order to tackle and recover from the pressing challenges of COVID-19.

The APEC Leaders adopted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Statement: Overcoming COVID-19 and Accelerating Economic Recovery. The Statement highlighted APEC’s work on strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth; innovation and digitalization; as well as trade and investment, to overcome COVID-19 and accelerate economic recovery.

Source: The Government Public Relations Department