SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much, Don, to you, to Deputy Prime Minister Jurin.  Thank you for today’s session, but especially thank you for Thailand’s remarkable hospitality and remarkable leadership throughout the past year.

The United States is excited to serve as APEC host in 2023 as part of our enduring commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.  Don, you’ve set the bar very high.  We’ll do our best.  But we greatly appreciate everything that you’ve done and we’re determined to carry on the momentum that you’ve helped generate this year.

Our U.S. host year theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All” aims to meet the moment in which our region finds itself in the post-COVID economic recovery as we move towards a more secure, prosperous, and hopefully peaceful tomorrow.

In 2020, APEC leaders endorsed the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which reflects our joint vision for an “open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.”  As host in 2023, we will continue to advance this vision through three policy priorities:

Interconnectedness – we will work to build a resilient and interconnected region that advances economic prosperity.

Innovation – we’ll work to enable an innovative environment for a sustainable future.

And inclusivity – we will affirm an equitable and inclusive future for all.

These priorities align with the Putrajaya’s vision of the three drivers of inclusive growth – trade and investment; innovation and digitalization; and strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth.  And it will also further the Aotearoa Plan of Action.

To advance these efforts, we’re planning ministerial meetings on transportation, trade, disaster management, energy, small and medium enterprises, food security, health, finance, and the joint foreign and trade ministerial.  We also plan to host a high-level Women and the Economy Forum.

So I very much look forward to welcoming everyone to the United States next year and continuing to advance prosperity across the APEC region.  And now it’s my pleasure to give the microphone to my friend and colleague, Ambassador Tai.