Malaysia welcomes Apec trade ministers’ call to support WTO
By Farah Adilla NEW STRAITS TIMES Mon, July 27, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia welcomes Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Ministers Responsible for Trade’s (MRT) statement on Saturday, saying it clearly outlines their commitment to support the work of World Trade Organisation, advance efforts in trade facilitation initiatives and strengthen the resilience of supply chains in the economic bloc.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, in a statement on Sunday, said the statement also acknowledged the importance of a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment in Apec in order to drive economic recovery during this challenging time.
Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is the virtual MRT chair for 2020, has provided leadership and worked closely with his colleagues to facilitate consensus.
This leads to the issuance of the virtual MRT statement, which also referenced the Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods in Apec.
“Malaysia welcomes the declaration as it marks the region’s unwavering commitment to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the flow of essential goods, during this time of crisis.
“This accomplishment is particularly meaningful as Malaysia was the original proponent of this declaration,” Azmin said in a statement.
Malaysia also welcomes the progress being made in other key initiatives in Apec in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They include facilitation efforts for the movement of people, a digital platform for information exchange as well as the proposal to create an Apec sub-fund for combatting Covid-19 and facilitating economic recovery.
Malaysia, as the economy entrusted to lead the drafting of the Post-2020 Vision which will serve as the guiding document for Apec in the coming years, is encouraged by the ministers’ call for a meaningful and achievable vision.
This was the first time in the history of Apec that the MRT met in a fully virtual format. This is indeed a remarkable feat for Malaysia as the host of Apec 2020.
The convening of the virtual MRT meeting demonstrated Malaysia’s leadership in spearheading Apec’s new normal by providing its chairmanship in fully digital hosting format to the 21 Apec Economies.
In addition, the meeting also saw the participation of the Apec Business Advisory Council as well as observers from the Asean Secretariat and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.