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27th APEC Economic Leaders’ summit 2020 held virtually; APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 endorsed:

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Asia-Pacific-leaders-make-joint-appeal-for-free-and-fair-tradeThe 27th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ summit 2020 was virtually hosted by Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 20, 2020. It was chaired by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin under the 2020 APEC Malaysia theme of “Optimising Human Potential towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity. Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”. It was the first virtual APEC meeting amid COVID-19.

  • The summit saw the release of Asia Pacific leaders’ first joint communique in three years, calling for free and predictable trade to help a slowed global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The joint statement comes at a time when there is ongoing trade tension between the world’s two largest economies viz. United States (US) and China.

It should be noted that APEC efforts are aligned towards Improving the Narrative of Trade and Investment; Inclusive Economic Participation through Digital Economy and Technology; and Driving Innovative Sustainability.

APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 endorsed:

APEC leaders had endorsed the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 that will make free and fair trade the focus of the APEC agenda for the next two decades. The vision will achieve through following three economic drivers:

  • Trade and Investment
  • Innovation and Digitalisation
  • Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Background:

APEC countries failed to reach agreement in 2018 due to trade and investment tensions between the United States (US) and China, and 2019’s gathering in Chile was canceled because of violent street protests.

Recent Related News:

i.On October 1, 2020, Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) addressed the High-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) – Beijing +25 virtually. The theme of the event was “Accelerating the realisation of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.

ii.On October 13, 2020, the 6th session of India-Norway Joint Commission was held virtually where Indian delegation was led by Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Norwegian delegation was led by Ms. Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, Foreign Minister of Norway.

About Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC):

New Zealand will chair the APEC in 2021.

Members– 21 countries
Secretariat (Head Quarter)– Singapore
Executive Director, APEC Secretariat– Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria