Hosting APEC in 2020 is an historic and significant event for Malaysia because of “Wawasan 2020” which sets a target for the nation to be a self-sufficient industrialised nation by the year 2020. Although this may only be achieved in 2025, the Wawasan 2020 principles of economic prosperity moving in tandem with social well-being is well-timed and relevant to the current global economic situation.
The year 2020 is similarly significant to APEC as the Bogor Goals, which was launched in 1994, will reach its maturity. The Bogor Goals is an aspirational target with the aim of achieving free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated Malaysia to devise alternative options to fulfil our leadership role. As a pragmatic response to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Malaysia has adopted the following 3P approach:
- Pivot: To ensure that APEC work programmes respond promptly and effectively to the COVID-19 crisis;
- Prioritise: To identify key meetings and events that must be held this year, which are essential for the advancement and realisation of Malaysia’s priority areas and targeted deliverables.
- Progress: To embrace the new normal by convening all meetings in a virtual format.
Taking into cognisance the reality sweeping the socio-economic landscape of APEC economies, combined with disruption caused by new technology, there is a growing consensus among APEC economies that there is an urgent need to focus on people and to broaden opportunities across society.
That is why Malaysia will focus on bringing APEC closer to the people and humanising APEC for the greater benefit of the region.
To demonstrate, APEC 2020 will be about striking a delicate balance beyond trade and investment liberalisation, with emphasis on inclusivity for equitable prosperity in the region.
As a good host, Malaysia will facilitate the discussions towards substantive deliverables that is developed through consensus-building and mutually agreed by all APEC economies.