Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia said today it will host the first ever virtual summit of leaders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) nations next month, amid political uncertainty faced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Doubts had arisen earlier in the year if the summit would go ahead because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New Zealand, which is hosting next year’s Apec summit, has said it will use virtual platforms to conduct the meeting because of travel restrictions and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Muhyiddin is facing calls to resign as doubts swirled over the support he commands after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong rejected his request to declare a state of emergency to fight the pandemic.
In a statement, the international trade and industry ministry said Muhyiddin will chair the Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) on Nov 20. It will have the participation of all 21 Apec economic leaders.
“Malaysia is making history by transforming Apec’s usual ways of doing business and convening a majority of Apec meetings in a fully virtual format,” it said.
Malaysia, which will be hosting Apec for the second time, said the summit is expected to launch the region’s Post-2020 Vision, the key policy set to replace the “Bogor Goals” which will reach maturity at the end of the year.
The “Bogor Goals”, adopted at the 1994 Apec summit in Bogor, Indonesia, called for all Apec economies to achieve free and open trade and investments by 2020. – Reuters