The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), is a regional economic forum of 21 members, established in 1989. Its formation leverages on the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific, with the primary goal of promoting free trade and sustainable development in the Pacific Rim economies.

Malaysia is one of the founding members of APEC in 1989, alongside 11 other economies, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. China; Hong Kong, China; and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991. Mexico and Papua New Guinea followed in 1993. Chile acceded in 1994. And in 1998, Peru; Russia; and Viet Nam joined, taking the full membership to 21.

Malaysia hosted APEC in 1998, with the theme “Strengthening the Foundations for Growth.”

Benefits of Hosting APEC

There will be many benefits accrued to Malaysia for hosting APEC in 2020. Among them is in the area of capacity building, where Malaysia will have the chance to train more local experts in various fields, have experience-sharing and knowledge exchange. This will subsequently open up opportunities for inclusiveness, especially in trade.

Another advantage of hosting APEC in 2020 is the opportunity to advance important change in critical policy areas, such as inclusive economic participation, digital trade, sustainable development and equitable prosperity among peoples. In addition, Malaysian businesses, especially SMEs, will benefit through business opportunities that arise from hosting APEC in 2020, such as transportation, hospitality, catering, tourism and other services. Malaysia will also be at the forefront of international media, which will hopefully place Malaysia on the map to showcase many other aspects of Malaysia to the world.