BANGKOK, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday urged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies to join hands in achieving sustainable growth amid global challenges at the APEC CEO Summit.
Prayut, whose country is the host of APEC 2022, delivered a keynote speech at the summit, saying APEC's priorities are guided by the Bio-Circular-Green Economy that Thailand introduced as a recovery strategy from COVID-19 and a blueprint for long-term growth that is more balanced, sustainable and inclusive.
He stressed the indispensable role of the private sector in the process, listing three areas in which government and business can work strongly together.
First is promoting sustainability, Prayut said, citing unprecedented environmental challenges including more frequent and severe storms and droughts, rising temperature and sea levels, worsening air quality and loss of biodiversity.
Second is inclusive growth, the prime minister said. "We must ensure that we leave no one behind on our path of development. We need to ensure the benefits of this growth are felt by all levels within our region."
Third is digitalization. Prayut said effective digital transformation offers enormous opportunities for businesses in the region and beyond, and will be a significant economic boost to contribute to the region's long-term development.
Providing opportunities for CEOs and top business executives to engage in dialogue with leaders from the APEC economies, this year's APEC CEO Summit, under the theme "Embrace, Engage, Enable," involves topics of inclusive growth and development, sustainability, innovation, healthcare, food security, digitalization, and gender equity.
The CEO summit came ahead of the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, which will kick off on Friday with economic recovery and sustainable growth high on the agenda.
APEC is a premier regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. With nearly 40 percent of the world population, its 21 member economies account for about half of global trade and over 60 percent of the world's total gross domestic product.
The APEC economies aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. ■