Marking the fiftieth anniversaryof the first Ministerial Conference on Asian Economic Cooperation, a ministerial level Asian Pacific Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration was held in Bangkok from 17-20 December, 2013. The Ministerial Conference adopted the Bangkok Declaration. The declaration called for cooperation in four thematic areas of integrated markets, connectivity, regional financial cooperation and cooperation to address shared vulnerabilities and risks. The four areas will be further studied with the formation of the four area-specific expert working groups and its findings and recommendations submitted for the consideration of the second Ministerial Conference to be convened in 2015.
During the four days, heads of governments, ministers, senior policy makers, experts and other stakeholders discussed and finalized the agenda for deepening and broadening regional economic cooperation and integration in the region. The Conference also witnessed extensive deliberations on the special needs of weaker economies such as the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries resulting in the unanimous decision to assist such countries with technical assistance and in building their capacities.
The Bhutanese delegation was led by Ambassador Kesang Wangdi, Permanent Representative of Bhutan to UNESCAP and senior officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Bangkok.