CYBERJAYA: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member countries decided it was not necessary to have its annual meeting in the United States after host Chile had to cancel, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said an invitation from Washington was extended to Apec countries following the cancellation.
“But almost everyone decided the meeting, which the United States has offered to host, is not necessary, so we will not go, ” he said after launching Apec 2020, which Malaysia is hosting.
He was responding to questions on the US proposal to host the Apec meeting in January next year.
Chile had cancelled the summit, scheduled for Nov 16-17, following street protests in the country.
Apec comprises Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
The theme for Apec 2020 is “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Future of Shared Prosperity”.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir said it was time for member economies to consider embracing the “Shared Prosperity” philosophy and embedding it in their economic models.
“Improving the overall well-being of our people and enabling every citizen to have a more decent living standard would make Apec sustainable and relevant as a grouping in the long run.
“In other words, trade and investment narratives will move beyond the creation of wealth, jobs and development into ensuring societal well-being as well, ” he said.
The Prime Minister said that as host of Apec 2020, Malaysia would continue the work on issues such as women in the economy, financial inclusion, engaging youth, sustainable development, and creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs, among others.