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The First APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1): APEC Working Groups advancing the key priority on Trade and Investment

        The theme of APEC2022 Thailand was formulated to address current challenges to the region and the world at large. Throughout our host year, Thailand aims to steer the Asia-Pacific region towards post-COVID-19 economic recovery and a balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth for the benefit of our people and businesses. By being ‘Open’, Thailand will focus our efforts to make APEC open to all trade and investment opportunities, with a refreshed conversation on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) as one of

the key deliverables and an outcome of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, which will be hosted by Thailand in May 2022


        During the first week of the First APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1), 17 working groups convened meetings to discuss trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC’s core interest, especially in the context of digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic. Issues highlighted in these sub-fora meetings ranged from next generation trade and investment issues, improving market access of new and emerging environmental goods and enhancing service sector competitiveness, to regulating and enforcing competition in the fast-changing and disruptive digital economy.   

           The Investment Experts Group (IEG) Meeting discussed next generation trade and investment issues including inclusive and responsible business and investment and investment opportunities in circular economy. Thai delegates gave a briefing on Thailand’s investment policy related to the BCG Economy model and an update on measures to mitigate investment issues that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Market Access Group (MAG) Meeting considered recommendations for producing

a reference list of new and emerging environment goods. The Group on Services (GOS) Technical Group Meeting discussed 

the implementation of APEC Service Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR). The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) also briefed 

the GOS on the outcomes of the first ABAC meeting on issues relevant to the GOS such as digital services and e-commerce. 

The Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG), under Thailand’s chairmanship, organised a Policy Dialogue on Competition Policy 

and Digital Transformation, to facilitate knowledge sharing and to identify capacity building areas and recommendations 

for competition authorities to better regulate and enforce competition in the digital economy.


        The outcomes of these sub-fora meetings will be reported and discussed in the meetings of the APEC’s core Committees under which they operate, namely Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and Economic Committee (EC), and subsequently to

the Senior Officials’ Plenary Meeting on 24 – 25 February 2022, culminating in the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in May 2022, and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November. By driving APEC 2022’s agenda on trade and investment, our people and businesses will benefit from a more conducive business climate, greater access to funding and economic opportunities that are more environmentally friendly and benefit all parts of society, including MSMEs, women, youth and other groups with untapped economic potential.