Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on 20 November 2020 participated in the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) hosted by Malaysia via video conference. On this occasion, he highlighted the role of trade and investment in the region’s economic recovery and drew Leaders’ attention to the following three priority areas:
(1) seamless connectivity in all dimensions, particularly the digital connectivity; (2) inclusive and sustainable growth by ensuring that each and every segment of society receive tangible benefits from free and open trade and investment as well as inclusive and equitable regional economic integration; and (3) fostering an economic and social model that is resilient to disruptions.
The Meeting focused on two key issues: (1) short-term cooperation to combat and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and (2) the long-term framework for APEC cooperation in the next 20 years as the Bogor Goals reaches its target date this year.
To help revitalize the economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Leaders reaffirmed their support for the agreed-upon WTO rules and to refrain from implementing measures that would hinder trade, while facilitating the movement of essential goods and services. To ensure that business operators have access to important and updated information which will allow them to plan ahead, the Leaders welcomed the launch of the APEC COVID-19 LIVE (Latest and Immediate Virtual Exchange: LIVE) (https://www.apec.org/COVID-19), initiated by Malaysia. LIVE is a website that gathers information on member economies’ policies and measures relating to COVID-19. The Leaders also discussed possible cooperation to facilitate equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.
On long term cooperation, the Leaders endorsed the “APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040,” which will succeed the Bogor Goals in directing APEC’s cooperation in the next 20 years. The document reflects the APEC Leaders’ vision to create an Asia-Pacific region that is open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful by 2040 for the prosperity of all people and future generations. APEC will achieve this vision through three drivers of economic activity: (1) trade and investment (2) innovation and digitalization, and (3) strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The Leaders stressed that all people in the region must be able to reap tangible benefits from free and open trade and investment, equitable regional economic integration, and enjoy well-being from economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
The 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time the APEC Leaders met via video conference. Nevertheless, the Meeting was a great success. APEC Leaders were able to adopt two important outcome documents which are the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration. It was the first time in three years that APEC Leaders adopted any outcome documents, after failing to reach consensus at the Meeting in Papua New Guinea in 2018 and the cancellation of Leaders’ Meeting in Chile in 2019.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department