Representatives and leaders of 21 economies endorsed the Bangkok Goals for sustainable growth at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2022 summit held in Thailand, as reported by Strait Times on November 19. The Bangkok Goals outlined a series of targets on the environment, trade and investment, and waste management. It also highlights climate change and commitments to member economies’ net zero and carbon neutrality goals. As the host, Thailand set sustainability as the top agenda of the APEC summit. This was the first time that the sustainability agenda was incorporated into the mainstream agenda by APEC leaders.
Before the APEC summit that drew global attention to sustainability, Thailand had promoted the bio-circular-green (BCG) economic model as a national agenda to revamp the nation’s economic and social development strategies. The BCG model involves the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources into value-added products, the reusing and recycling of resources, as well as a balance between the economy, society, and the environment. Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-Ocha, stated that the model will lay the foundation for boosting the economy of the Asia Pacific (APAC) region in an inclusive, sustainable, environment-friendly, and systematic manner. At the summit, Prayuth called on businesses to achieve sustainability by harnessing technologies and conducting practices that are in accord with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.