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Apec: Malaysia committed to 2020 leaders’ declaration

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A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Malaysia is fully committed to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2020 Economic Leaders’ Declaration as a wide-range response will be key to reviving its 21 member economies.

The leaders’ meeting, culminating in a Leaders’ Declaration in Malaysia would, among others, focus on issues concerning Covid-19 which has severely hampered economic growth globally.

Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) chair Datuk Rohana Mahmood said there is an urgency for Apec economies to look at regional integration given that a global pandemic requires a coordinated global response and eventual recovery would take longer if an economy fights in isolation.

“Apec leaders need to be practical. We cannot run away from trade, investment and turn our backs on globalisation.

“Malaysia has to come out with a strong leaders’ declaration. We are already working on it and I think we will come out with a good one,” she told Bernama after attending a luncheon briefing with Apec ambassadors and High Commissioners here today.

Meanwhile, Abac member Datuk Rahman Ahmad said the micro and small and medium enterprises need to relook at their businesses and evolve themselves in order to remain relevant in the new world.

Rahman, who is also CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chief executive officer, said the business landscape has changed and many companies are facing bankruptcies and other business challenges such as liquidity, credit, and tax payments.

“We can’t be hanging on to things which do not work in this new normal. We have to evolve going forward.

“The world has changed many times, this is just one time that we may be forced to change but that is how innovation happens,” he said.

Apec member economies include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Abac was created by the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 1995 to be the primary voice of business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Each economy has three members who are appointed by their respective leaders. They meet four times a year in preparation for the presentation of their recommendations to the Apec leaders in a dialogue that is a key event in the annual Leaders’ Meeting.

Under Malaysia’s leadership, ABAC is pursuing a work programme under the theme “integration, innovation and inclusion” to respond to the challenge of maintaining the economic vitality in the Asia-Pacific region and ensure it benefits all.

The year-end Leaders’ Declaration in Malaysia will be after a two-year gap as Apec leaders, for the first time, failed to agree on a joint communique at the 2018 meeting in Papua New Guinea amid the United States-China trade tensions.

In the following year, the meeting in Chile was called off due to domestic unrest. — Bernama

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