With the business sentiment seeming to slow down globally and domestically, Malaysia hopes the 16,000 delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit who will congregate here beginning December this year until November 2020 will help spur the economy, APEC 2020 head of logistics Suraya K A Rahman said.
She said the delegates from the 21 member economies are tasked with creating excitement in both national and regional growth while providing opportunities for the APEC economies and beyond, amid the current economic challenges.
“We are also talking to the industries to see how they can also come up with other side activities, specifically for APEC as well as Visit Malaysia Year,” she told reporters during the APEC 2020 Communications: Media Briefing Session here today.
Besides being the host for APEC 2020, next year is going to be a busy year for Malaysia as it would also be a Visit Malaysia Year with the government setting a target of 30 million tourist arrivals and RM100 billion in tourist receipts.
According to Suraya, these two events are going to be the two key government initiatives that are intended to create more activity in the country.
Meanwhile, another APEC Secretariat said while almost 80 per cent of Malaysia’s trade is with the 21 member economies, APEC 2020 is the forum for Malaysia to be with.
“In 2018, APEC economies contributed 77.6 per cent of total trade with Malaysia, accounting for 77.8 per cent of exports and 77.3 per cent of imports.
“The economies also contributed 74 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector with a total of RM1 billion investment implemented in the (manufacturing) sector,” she said.
She noted that apart from contributions to Malaysia’s trade, investment and business facilitation, APEC has vastly contributed to capacity building in areas of pertinence to the country.
Latest figures show that 125 Malaysian participants and 11 Malaysian subject matter experts have participated in 64 fully funded projects in other APEC economies since 2017.
Malaysia itself has executed 22 fully funded projects from 2013-2018, utilising US$2.7 million of APEC funds.
“Other areas of capacity building would also include development of small and medium enterprises, gender empowerment, science, technology and innovation, digital economy, energy, health and human capital development,” she explained.
She added that it is crucial for Malaysia to strengthen its influence and leadership at the regional level as the APEC 2020 host and to also lead in critical discussions on global issues namely the US-China trade war and multilateral trading system.
“With the theme revolving around the concept of shared prosperity for APEC 2020, Malaysia understands what is needed for the 21 member economies to prosper together and will send the message not just to the member economies but beyond,” she said.