APEC launches Post-2020 Vision for future cooperation in Asia-Pacific

Saturday, 21 Nov, 2020

"We, the Economic Leaders of APEC, stand united in our determination to enable the Asia-Pacific region to successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts", the joint declaration states.

He said "mounting unilateralism, protectionism and bullying as well as backlash against economic globalisation" had added to risks and uncertainties in the world economy.

It will be only the second time Trump, who is challenging the election results against Democrat Joe Biden, has participated in APEC, the other occasion being in 2017. Japan accounts for almost half of CPTPP GDP and emerged as a leader in concluding the trade agreement after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact.

Trump's participation, his first since 2017, came as a surprise as he challenges the outcome of the USA presidential election, won by Joe Biden.

The Trump administration has been criticised for a lower level of engagement in Asia.

Trump, whose "America First" policy has alienated trading partners, addressed the meeting but his speech wasn't immediately available.

According to APEC nations, the new vision is to create "an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations".

The group consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping pose for a photo ahead of their bilateral meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.

Xi's comments came just days after Beijing and 14 other countries signed what will be the world's biggest trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

2020 marks an important milestone in APEC cooperation as it is the deadline to complete the 25 years of implementation of the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalisation, and to approve long-term cooperation programmes, especially the building of the post-2020 APEC Vision, with strategic cooperation directions for the next two decades.

The leaders also said they recognized "the importance of a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment" to drive growth during the crisis.

Moon proposed that the APEC members make more efforts to map out ways for "inclusive cooperation" to pull off "inclusive" economic recovery of the region without deepening inequality.

The 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration was also issued at the meeting, calling for solidarity to defeat the pandemic and revive the economy across the region.

"We need to work together as a world to say not only is it not in the world's interest - it's actually not in China's interest - to continue to behave in a way that's trying to use its weight to get its way", Trudeau said during an interview on the sidelines of the APEC summit.