PM Lee to attend virtual Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting and CEO Dialogues

PM Lee will be accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry.
PM Lee will be accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry.PHOTO: MCI

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will on Friday (Nov 20) participate in the virtual 27th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM), at which leaders of 21 economies are expected to discuss how to improve trade and investments, innovation and sustainability, and inclusivity.

He will also join in the Apec CEO Dialogues, which will discuss priorities in the aftermath of the pandemic, on Thursday (Nov 19).

Mr Lee will be accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Prime Minister's Office said in a press statement on Wednesday (Nov 18).

This year's theme under Malaysia's chairmanship - its second since 1998 - is "Optimising Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress".

The three priority areas are: improving the narrative of trade and investment; inclusive economic participation through digital economy and technology; and driving innovative sustainability.

The AELM is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Apec economies are working closely with Malaysia to finalise two outcome documents for the AELM: a Leaders' Declaration and a Post-2020 Vision which will guide Apec's work in the next 20 years.

Separately, the CEO Dialogues will involve political leaders and business executives who form the Apec Business Advisory Council, a private sector body formed in 1995. It meets four times a year to advise Apec leaders on the priorities and concerns of companies in the region. Each of the 21 Apec leaders can nominate up to three senior business executives to take part.

The trio from Singapore are Singapore Business Federation chief executive officer Ho Meng Kit, Accenture Singapore senior managing director Teo Lay Lim and Standard Chartered Singapore head of commercial banking Goh Beng Kim.

Other speakers at the Dialogues, which end on Friday, include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Apec, comprising 21 Asia-Pacific member economies, represents 60 per cent of world GDP and 48 per cent of global trade.

Its economies account for a significant proportion - over 75 per cent - of Singapore's global trade in goods and services in 2019.

The grouping works on the basis of consensus and its targets and goals are voluntary and non-binding. It seeks to promote deeper regional economic integration, and greater trade and investment facilitation and liberalisation.

It is also looking into new areas such as the digital economy, and has evolved to address other concerns in areas such as health, agriculture, and energy.

The United States has yet to announce who will represent it at this year's event. It is understood that outgoing President Donald Trump, who is disputing his election loss to Mr Joe Biden, will not be attending.