PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) to work constructively towards navigating the region along a path of robust, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery and growth.
The Prime Minister said the Covid-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on the way that trade and economic priorities within Apec was viewed.
"Today, as we work together as a region to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, the relevance of Apec has now become even more pronounced.
"As we pursue regional solutions that help us to strike a delicate balance between our health priorities and economic needs, we are reminded not of our divergences, but of our similarities and of the fundamental fact that, even in calamity, humanity will find a way.
“That said, we have to stand united in combating Covid-19 and it is therefore of utmost importance that people around the world have access to the vaccines and health technologies in an affordable, accessible and equitable basis," he said during in his opening remarks at the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) held virtually for the first time on Friday evening (Nov 20).
Muhyiddin, who is the Apec 2020 chairman, added that Apec assumed a central role in spearheading post-pandemic economic recovery as its grouping constituted about 60% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
He stressed on the need to trade and invest their way out of the current economic downturn.
Muhyiddin also shared three key priorities that Apec member economies could embrace, such as reaffirming their support and commitment for the rules-based multilateral trading system, bolster the digital economy and inclusive economic growth.
“The onus is on us, as leaders, to bring the distributive effects of trade and investment to all our people, ” Muhyiddin said, adding that in Malaysia’s view, this can be achieved through shared prosperity which was about mainstreaming economic development and centre-staging prosperity.
To date, Malaysia’s trade with Apec member economies has increased by more than seven-fold in the past decade.
In 2019, Apec economies collectively contributed 78% of Malaysia’s total trade.
Similarly, Apec economies as a grouping, were the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia, representing 91% of Malaysia’s total FDI flows for last year.
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