French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to "Let's Build Together!" and reiterated that "France is not only a European country but also an Indo-Pacific Ocean country."
"France is not only a European country but also an Indo-Pacific Ocean country. That is why I am here at the APEC Summit in Thailand. My Message: Let's Build Together!," tweeted Macron.
World leaders have arrived in Thailand for their third back-to-back summit this week amid geopolitical tensions over the war in Ukraine.
The APEC forum, which kicks off on Friday, is officially tasked with promoting regional economic integration but is expected to be dominated by the fallout of Russia's war in Ukraine.
Macron highlighted France's achievements and urged nations to invest in the country.
"We are number 1 in start-up creation in Europe today. We are no 1 in investments in start-ups and tech in Europe today. We are no 1 in attractiveness in Europe today and we have been no 1 for the past three years, so we have a lot of assets. And my message to you is that this is the right moment regarding these challenging times to invest in France and especially to invest in France, in this region," said Macron.
Macron also insisted APEC nations invest in its far-flung island outposts New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Reunion Island.
"And as I mentioned, France is part of the region, so my invitation is not just to invest in France, in its European part, but in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Reunion Island, in all the places, because it's key and you have a lot of opportunities," said Macron.
"I am sure about that. But, be sure that we will keep working hard in the current years in order to deliver a clear strategy for the future," he added.
"France is close to Papua New Guinea, due to its geographical proximity to New Caledonia. However, we share much more: a Melanesian culture and common projects regarding energy transition and biodiversity protection. We plan to strengthen them," tweeted Macron.
Speaking about, France 2030, launched in 2021, continues the commitments of the Investments for the Future programme (PIA) and has a budget of Euro 54 billion, including Euro 20 billion from PIA 4, he said, "This is France 2030. More than one year ago, I set up a series of big investments and reforms to fix, from energy to quantum new technologies, the strategy for the country and the continent."
Created in 2010, the PIA aim to stimulate employment, boost productivity and increase the competitiveness of French businesses by encouraging investment and innovation in priority sectors to drive growth.
"We will keep fighting and working hard in order to make Europe stronger and cooperative with the rest of the world. And we will keep fighting hard to be part of this region and to be a reliable, humble and consistent partner in the Indo-Pacific region," said Macron.
"I am sure that the only way to have a win-win game is to cooperate and to accept that all the members of the different regions of this world, will make their life easier and better at the end of the day," he added.
Macron also said that France do not believe in hegemony but believe in stability and cooperation.
"We don't believe in hegemony. We don't believe in confrontation. We believe in stability, cooperation, to innovate together and deliver concrete and positive results for our people everywhere. Thank you for your attention and you can count on France. Thank You," said Macron.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are among the leaders attending the gathering.
US President Joe Biden, who is attending his granddaughter's wedding, is not attending and will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who skipped this week's G20 meeting in Bali, is also not participating and will be represented by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.
The two-day forum comes a day after the G20 countries unanimously adopted a statement saying most members condemned the war in Ukraine, while acknowledging some countries viewed the conflict differently.
( With inputs from ANI )
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