Jakarta (ANTARA) – APEC officials, private sector representatives, environmental experts, representatives of international organizations and youth members are exploring business practices and financing as pathways to sustainable economic growth in the region.
The stakes are high for APEC to push for concrete actions to achieve more sustainable economic growth, Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thani Thongphakdi said during a dialogue exploring ways to strengthen partnerships Towards Sustainable Economic Growth, held in Chiang Mai on Saturday 27 August. ).
The APEC region suffers from more than 70% of global natural disasters, and disaster-related losses amount to $100 billion a year, as stated in a statement released by the SOM Steering Committee on Economic Cooperation and technical and received here on Sunday.
The economic risk of climate change in APEC is significant. Even in the best-case scenario, when average temperatures are maintained at or below 2 degrees Celsius, or relative to pre-industrial levels, APEC can expect gross domestic product (GDP) losses of 0.6 to 11.3% by 2050 from a non-climate change scenario, according to APEC’s Policy Support Unit.
In the dialogue exploring ways to strengthen partnerships towards sustainable economic growth, Thani Thongphakdi highlighted the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model as a post-pandemic growth strategy.
It combines science, innovation and technology to promote the efficient use of resources, maintain and restore ecosystems, and reduce waste with the aim of building a system where the economy and businesses can thrive.
At the heart of this BCG approach is an understanding of the complex interactions between environment, society and economy.
Economic policies, traditionally, have often ignored the impacts of economic activities on the environment and failed to take into account the costs of these activities on the economy and society.
In response, Thailand, as host of APEC 2022, introduced the BCG business model, which aims to holistically address environmental challenges including climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters.
“In our journey to recovery, it is crucial to prioritize investments in building sustainability and resilience to future disruptions,” said Thani, who is also the 2022 APEC Senior Officials Chair.
“We need to encourage public-private-people partnerships in this area to ensure that our policy encourages sustainable business practices and promotes investment and financing,” he added.
Addressing the need to invest in the health of people and the planet for recovery efforts, the United Nations Development Program Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Christophe Bahuet, highlighted how the health and the environment are closely linked for an effective response to COVID-19.
“Economies must increase investment in building resilient and sustainable health systems to support the immediate response to COVID-19 and help prevent future health crises,” Bahuet said.
He also stressed that achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 would require intensive investments.
“With the pandemic, socio-economic and geopolitical challenges and rising climate and environmental risks, these additional investment needs will be greater,” he noted.
During the dialogue, policymakers heard from representatives of the private sector about what is driving companies to turn to more sustainable practices, as well as the challenges they face during this crucial transition.
The discussion touched on the fault lines laid bare by COVID-19 and the resulting economic impacts in the APEC region. The pandemic has hampered years of economic and development gains and added more pressure on vulnerable small businesses.
Speakers and delegates recognized that a balanced, resilient and sustainable economy is necessary to ensure that economic progress benefits all.
Delegates also deliberated on policy levers to further expand access to sustainable finance and investment, given their crucial role in encouraging and empowering small businesses.
They also shared the challenges they faced regarding gaps in putting sustainability into practice and the opportunities that exist to bridge these cracks and ensure that policies benefit everyone.
“For us to achieve our ambitious goal of a greener and more inclusive future, we must continue cooperation among APEC member economies,” said Matt Murray, Chairman of the APEC SOM Steering Committee on economic and technical cooperation.
“Expanding our network of partnerships with various stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and youth will help us formulate better policies and generate more interest in sustainable practices and build the resilience of our communities. savings,” he concluded.
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