The Asia-Pacific forum, which takes place after the G20 meeting and the ASEAN summit, will be attended by Macron and Mohamed Bin Salman. Neither Biden nor Putin will attend

The war in Ukraine and its economic consequences, key issues within APEC

REUTERS/GLEB GARANINCH - Cars in flames after Russian military attack in central Kiev

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum kicks off in Bangkok amid an uncertain global economic situation due to the war in Ukraine and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Regional and international leaders will gather in the Thai capital shortly after the G20 meeting in Indonesia - a meeting that was shaken by the impact of two missiles on Polish territory - and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit in Cambodia, which ended without a final declaration.

On the 18th and 19th, representatives of the 21 APEC countries will address issues such as sustainability and economic recovery in the region. As announced by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the summit will focus on "new forms of trade and investment" and "the need to reconnect supply chains". Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai stressed that this meeting "must overcome current challenges and bring hope to the world"

Participants at the Bangkok summit include Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as well as Japanese and Chinese leaders Fumio Kishida and Xi Jinping.

The latter two - Kishida and Xi - are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit, according to AFP. The meeting would be Jinping's first face-to-face conversation with a Japanese prime minister since 2019. Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Jacinda Ardern have also confirmed they will hold talks with Xi. 

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At the recent G20 summit, the Chinese president met with his US counterpart, Joe Biden. Aiming to de-escalate the rivalry between the two powers, the two leaders held a three-hour meeting in which they reaffirmed their desire to avoid an escalation of tensions that could lead to conflict. They also underlined the dangers and threats of the use of nuclear weapons in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Developments in Ukraine will play a key role in the APEC summit because of their economic effects on the region. The recent impact of two missiles on Polish territory dangerously escalated the conflict. In Bali, Biden convened an emergency meeting with G7 and NATO allies to clarify the facts. In the end, the US, NATO and Poland all pointed out that the missiles probably came from the Ukrainian air defence system. However, they have pointed to Russia as the main culprit. Kiev, for its part, continues to blame Moscow and calls for an investigation. 

In addition to the APEC leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have also travelled to Thailand to participate in the forum.

On the other hand, Biden and Vladimir Putin, presidents of the United States and Russia - APEC member countries - will not attend the summit. Biden will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris, while First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will replace Putin.

As EFE notes, the APEC nations encompass 2.9 billion people, or 38% of the world's population. The 21 countries have a combined GDP of $53 trillion - 61% of the world's GDP - and trade valued at $24 trillion, representing almost 50% of international trade.

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