SINGAPORE: The 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) can play a constructive role in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and help it to better prepare in dealing with future crises, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong on Sunday (May 22).
APEC economies should also "strongly encourage" the WTO to "give a clear mandate to undertake ... reform in a structured and systemic manner" at the organisation's next meeting in June, Mr Gan added.
The highest decision-making body of the WTO - the Ministeral Conference - will meet next month.
Mr Gan also called on the group to leverage the growth of digital trade and economy for a stronger post-COVID economic recovery, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry in a media release.
Speaking at a two-day APEC meeting held over the weekend in Bangkok, Mr Gan highlighted ways in which the group can ensure "inclusive and sustainable growth" for a more resilient Asia Pacific region.
This could be achieved by restoring connectivity, supporting people and businesses to go digital and intensifying efforts in areas like climate change.
Mr Gan also affirmed that Singapore will continue to work with other APEC members to contribute to the global conversation on new opportunities through digital transformation.
During his trip, the minister held bilateral meetings with counterparts from host Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, US, Canada, Hong Kong, Chile and Peru.
He also met with Singapore companies active in Thailand.