APEC 2020 to boost economy and create jobs

by NG MIN SHEN/ pic by TMR FILE

THE Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, to be hosted by Malaysia in 2020, is expected to boost the domestic economy through its various events which will create jobs and industry showcasing opportunities.

An APEC 2020 National Secretariat spokesperson said the secretariat is in talks with industry players for potential events and activities that can be held in conjunction with the forum.

“We hope by having some 16,000 delegates coming to Malaysia for APEC 2020 will spur economic activities in the country.

“There will surely be excitement and job opportunities through events such as the APEC Arts Festival, as additional manpower will be required to support the organising of APEC 2020,” the spokesperson said at a media briefing on the forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Established in 1989, APEC operates as a cooperative multilateral economic trade forum comprising of 21-member economies to leverage on the growing interdependence of the Asia Pacific.

It aims to create greater prosperity by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secured growth by accelerating regional economic integration. In 2017, the total nominal GDP of the APEC region stood at US$48 trillion (RM201.91 trillion), accounting for 60% of global GDP.

The region also contributed 47% or US$22 trillion to global trade of goods and services.

The 21 economies under APEC are Malaysia, the US, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2018, APEC member countries contributed 77.6% of total trade to Malaysia, according to data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

The region also contributed 74% or RM42.65 billion of foreign direct investments in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector last year, compared to RM12.6 billion in 2017.

From 2013 to 2018, Malaysia has executed 22 fully-funded projects utilising US$2.7 million worth of APEC funds.

Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Ministry deputy secretary general Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob (picture) said Malaysia’s role in hosting APEC 2020 would place the nation on the world stage again, 22 years after the country last hosted the regional forum in 1998.

“Our hosting year would be doubly special, as it will be the year that APEC would chart the next chapter of its future by launching a new goal to succeed the Bogor Goals (to have free and open trade and investment in Asia Pacific no later than 2020),” he said.

In a world constantly disrupted by new technologies, while economies use trade measures as arsenals in neo-globalisation wars, the post-Bogor Goals charter will carry a Malaysian legacy, while equipping the region to deal with the new dynamics of the current world.

“To set the stage for this special year, the theme that we are currently working on revolves around the concept of shared prosperity,” Norazman said.

Next year’s forum will also carry regional economic integration, inclusivity and the digital economy, and innovation and sustainability as its priority areas.

“Organising APEC 2020 is the nation’s endeavour, and we could all take credit for its eventual success. We also want it to be the best platform to showcase the best that Malaysia can offer,” he added.