Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha attended the remote handover of the Apec chairmanship from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday evening (Nov 12).
Ms Ardern said the 2021 theme of Apec, which is “Join, Work, Grow. Together”, was inspired by the native Maori population, reports the Bangkok Post.
“Traditionally, building a waka [canoe] involved the entire Maori community working in harmony toward a common goal. These waka enabled Maori to traverse vast expanses of ocean,” Ms Ardern said.
“Likewise, building Apec prosperity requires a collaborative effort from all Apec economies to reach a common goal. New Zealand is thankful for being able to support Apec through hosting the 2021 Apec.”
She added that with the handover of the Apec chairmanship in 2022 to Thailand, New Zealand was confident that Thailand would paddle the Apec canoe forward with enthusiasm, creativity, and ingenuity.
Meanwhile, PM Prayut thanked New Zealand for handing over the waka paddler for Thailand to propel forward the Apec canoe. He said the country is honoured to be hosting Apec in 2022, and would work with Apec economies to ensure mutual benefit.
He also invited the Apec leaders to “synergise” their strength in creating an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Apec community.
He explained the 2022 theme of “Open. Connect. Balance”, as Apec being “open” to all opportunities, “connected” in every dimension, and “balanced” in all aspects.