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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much, Don, to you, to Deputy Prime Minister Jurin. Thank you for today’s meeting, but I am very grateful for Thailand’s hospitality and wonderful leadership over the past year.

The United States is pleased to serve as the host of APEC in 2023 as part of our long-term commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. Don, you set the bar very high. We will do our best. But we really appreciate everything you’ve done and we’re determined to continue the momentum you’ve helped us generate this year.

Our annual theme for U.S. hosts is of “Creating a Strong and Sustainable Future for All” aims to meet the moment when our region finds itself in a healthy post-COVID economy as we move towards a safe, secure tomorrow prosperous and peaceful.

In 2020, APEC leaders adopted the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which reflects our collective vision of “an open, strong, stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for prosperity of all our people and future generations.” As host in 2023, we will continue to advance this vision with three strategic priorities:

Connectivity – we will work to build a sustainable and connected region that promotes economic prosperity.

Innovation – we will work to create an innovative environment for a sustainable future.

And inclusion – we will ensure an equitable and inclusive future for all.

These priorities are in line with Putrajaya’s vision of three pillars of growth which include – trade and investment; innovation and digitalisation; and strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth. It will also develop the Aotearoa Action Plan.

To advance this initiative, we are planning ministerial meetings for transport, trade, disaster management, energy, small and medium enterprises, food security, health, finance, and joint foreign and trade ministers. . We are also planning to hold a high-level Women and Economy Conference.

So I look forward to welcoming everyone to the United States next year and continuing to build on the success across the APEC region. And now it is my pleasure to hand over the microphone to my friend and colleague, Ambassador Tai.

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