APEC SOM3 Advancing “Balance in all Aspects” for Growth, Sustainability, and Well-being for All
The Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and related meetings continue to drive forward APEC 2022’s priority of “Balance in All Aspects” to steer the Asia-Pacific region towards sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19. The BCG Economy Model, which underlines the “Open. Connect. Balance.” theme, is emphasised as an innovative approach to help advance APEC’s sustainability agenda in a more holistic and integrated manner through the development of the Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy as a key deliverable.
For the past 8 months, Thailand has been driving the development of the “Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy”, a placeholder name for a standalone leader-level document, to reaffirm APEC’s commitment to advancing sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Several workshops and dialogues have been organised, aiming to create better understanding and exchange best practices on how the BCG Economy Model can be operationalised in business. In developing this document, Thailand attaches great importance to an open and inclusive consultation process to ensure that the Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy is not only fit for purpose but also reflective of all economies’ needs and domestic contexts.
To highlight the importance of the whole-of-society approach, Thailand hosted the Roundtable on Partnership towards Sustainable Economic Growth through the BCG Economy Model on 27 August 2022. It brought together key stakeholders from the government, private sector, financial sector, academia, and youth to share their success stories and best practices in forging a partnership and transforming their businesses on a sustainable path. They also exchanged views on how to design the right policy mix and enable ecosystems to help businesses overcome challenges in their transitions to sustainable practices. SOM3 has also advanced the discussion on the Bangkok Goals on the BCG Economy initiative. A dedicated session was held on 29 August 2022 for APEC economies to share their comments on the revised draft, which will then be used to further revise the draft before submitting it for endorsement by APEC Leaders in Bangkok in November.
In addition, the BCG was also highlighted in the sectoral Ministerial Meetings, held on the sideline of SOM3, as an approach that can help address different problems faced by the region. For example, the 11th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting on 19 August 2022 discussed rebuilding the region’s tourism industry with the regenerative tourism concept to promote a more inclusive and sustainable tourism policy, conserving biodiversity and cultural diversity. The 5th APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry on 24 August 2022 highlighted the BCG as a strategy for sustainable forest management, where technology and innovations are used to create value and promote sustainable businesses that contribute to local community development and climate change prevention. The 7th APEC Food Security Ministerial Meeting on 26 August 2022 stressed the urgency for APEC to sustainably transform its agri-food system that also empowers and ensures the viable livelihood of smallholders and MSMEs, in alignment with the global efforts towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending hunger.
The Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting has advanced APEC2022’s priority to achieve “Balance in All Aspects”, by encouraging businesses to embrace the BCG Economy Model. Policy recommendations discussed at the sectoral APEC Ministerial Meeting will provide guidelines for APEC economies to shape their domestic policy direction to promote sustainable economic growth that delivers inclusive benefits for all.