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Geopolitics to stay in focus at APEC summit in Thailand

BANGKOK — World leaders arrived in Thailand on Thursday ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the last of several of summits in the region that have been dominated by geopolitical tensions over the war in Ukraine.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is hosting the 21-member bloc starting Friday, said at a pre-summit business event the agenda was to focus on “new trade and investment narratives…the need to reconnect supply chains and travel, and the global sustainability agenda”.

Foreign ministers of the group are set to meet on Thursday.

On the sidelines, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to have bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida later in the day. US Vice President Kamala Harris and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are among those also attending the main meeting.

French President Emmanuel Macron is a special invitee.

The APEC meeting comes on the heels of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali where countries unanimously adopted a declaration saying most members condemned the war in Ukraine, but that also acknowledged some countries saw the conflict differently.

Host Indonesia said the Ukraine war had been the most contentious issue at the summit in Bali.

The leaders of the world’s biggest economies also agreed to pace interest rate rises carefully to avoid spillovers and warned of “increased volatility” in currency moves. — Reuters

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