BANGKOK, 21 JULY 2022 – Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Millicent Cruz Paredes joined the diplomatic corps, upon the invitation of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mahidol University, at the International Academic Forum and the 5th APEC Media Focus Group entitled “APEC and Business Sustainability” held yesterday, 20 July 2022, at the Mahidol University Salaya Campus in Nakhon Pathom, north of Bangkok.
For the latest edition of the APEC 2022 awareness and outreach series, Thailand as the APEC host economy brought together speakers from the Thai academe, government, and private sector, to share insights and experiences on transformative pathways towards innovation-based growth in Thailand. In line with the APEC 2022 theme of “Open. Connect. Balance.”, the discussions centered on Thailand's whole-of-society pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development. This long-term growth strategy is guided by the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) of progress with prudence and moderation, as conceived and developed by His Majesty King Rama IX.
For Thailand, the Bio, Circular, and Green (BCG) economic model is one way to achieve a sufficient economy and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in a sustainable and balanced way. The BCG economic model further aligns with Thailand’s work on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The event’s session on the BCG Economy and Business Sustainability highlighted how Thailand transforms key economic sectors such as agriculture and health and medicine by adding value to goods and services through science, technology, and innovation consistent with the SEP and BCG model.
Ambassador Paredes was particularly interested in the “Nan Sandbox” program which offered innovative solutions to deforestation in Nan province and poverty in its agriculture sector. With the support of the private sector, local farmers shifted from planting low-value, environment-costly corn for livestock, to high-value, profitable herbs used in medicine and cosmetics. Using crop selection techniques, scientists had identified herbs that could grow in the shade, thus removing the need to clear forest land for farming.
The Ambassador lauded the Sandbox’s achievements, while drawing attention to the need to ensure that the program benefits the farmers themselves. “For an initiative to be truly sustainable and inclusive, it has to be felt at the grassroots, with ownership of the affected communities.”
Thailand’s chairmanship of APEC 2022 has passed its halfway mark, with the groundwork almost complete for the deliverables expected at APEC’s close in November. As Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Chair of Thailand said in his keynote address, the Forum carries forward the conversation on what APEC 2022 can deliver for everyone, and how to get everyone on board to do more.
For more information on the Forum, please visit the official Facebook page of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: https://www.facebook.com/APEC2022Thailand/videos/1363843834102529. END