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KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) executive director Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Sta Maria today discussed the challenges of hosting APEC this year with the various travel restrictions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his official Twitter, Tengku Zafrul said he had received a call from Rebecca to discuss the progress of APEC, specifically the finance track.

“We also touched on the challenges of hosting APEC this year with the various travel restrictions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Earlier, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) met today via virtual conference to finalise their COVID-19 Report to APEC Trade Ministers, which contains recommendations to address the immediate impact of the pandemic and lay the groundwork for economic recovery and resilience.

“ABAC Chair Datuk Rohana (Datuk Rohana Mahmood) will present the report at the upcoming APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting.

“Summing up, she said that while no single economy has the solution to the pandemic and its consequences, sharing experiences, keeping markets open, and working together will achieve the best outcome,” ABAC said in its tweet.

This is the second time Malaysia is hosting APEC since 1998. The Summit is scheduled in November but from now all meetings are conducted virtually.

APEC is an inter-governmental forum comprising 21 economies that promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC region is an economic juggernaut, nearly tripling the size of its economy since the forum’s launch in 1989.

The economies make up 40 per cent of the world’s population, 60 per cent of its gross domestic product and 50 per cent of the total trade, according to the summit organisers.



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