Bangkok, Oct 19 (EFE).- Finance ministers and representatives of the 21 economies that make up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum began a two-day meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday to discuss global economic recovery after the pandemic.
The closed-door meeting comes ahead of the APEC leaders’ summit on Nov. 18 and 19 in the Thai capital to be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States Vice President Kamala Harris.
The conflicting positions of Russia and the US regarding the war in Ukraine and the economic consequences of the conflict caused by the Russian invasion have blocked joint statements during the different meetings organized by Thailand, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the bloc this year.
Thailand Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said in a video that the participants would discuss a range of proposals to promote the reopening of the economies after the global health crisis.
These include access to financing for sustainable development and technology for a digital economy.
Thailand, which has not imposed sanctions on Russia and maintained a neutral position on the conflict in Europe, has sought to promote the creation of a large free trade area in the Asia-Pacific during its chairmanship.
The proposal, put on the table for the first time in 2008 and taken up again in 2021, would encompass 2.9 billion people – 38 percent of the global population with a combined GDP of $52 trillion, equivalent to 62 percent of the world’s GDP.
The regional trade is worth $18 trillion, 70 percent of global exchanges.
The organizers say that around 250 representatives of the 21 APEC member countries and international organizations – including the International Monetary Fund – will attend the meeting.
These include the US deputy secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, who has spearheaded his country’s sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Founded in 1989, APEC consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. EFE