YAB Prime Minister
Speaking Notes at
The APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM)
1. Kia Ora, and a very good evening, Your Majesty and Excellencies. It is my pleasure to be present at this distinguished APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
2. Our gathering today is crucial for APEC to continue assuming a pivotal role in restoring the global economic architecture, by driving the recovery process towards a sustainable and resilient region.
3. As highlighted in the recent APEC Regional Trade Analysis, the different degree of intervention measures coupled with disparity in vaccination rate, if left unattended, will aggravate the uneven economic growth.
4. On this note, allow me to share three (3) suggestions to strengthen our multilateral cooperation for a holistic, vibrant and sustainable recovery.
5. To begin with, we need to see greater vaccine multilateralism through closer cooperation in distribution and recognition.
6. Effective management of the pandemic requires fair, equitable and affordable vaccines for all. This is imperative to ensure that no Economy is left behind. Vaccine multilateralism is essential to lend firm support in the collective fight against the pandemic and provide what is necessary for sustainable recovery.
7. Trade policy is central to this and facilitative measures are required to support the region’s efforts to address the impediments. Hence, the Joint Statement by our Trade Ministers in June this year, is of utmost importance to identify and consider removing unnecessary barriers to trade, particularly those that expedite and facilitate flow of the vaccine supply chain.
8. In addition to improved accessibility to vaccines, we call for an end to vaccine discrimination, and in this vein, Malaysia continues to approve all vaccines green-lit by WHO. As the freedom of movement is crucial for the full realisation of economic recovery, Malaysia urges APEC to develop mutual recognition of vaccine certificate among Member Economies.
9. This brings me to the second point which is the reopening of our borders.
10. At this juncture, our high vaccination rate has reached the level and extent that we feel safe enough to gradually reopen our borders.
11. Reopening of international borders will certainly spur travel and tourism sectors, which are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and this will in turn, drive economic recovery.
12. On this note, I am pleased to share that fully-vaccinated Malaysians have started traveling abroad since last month, while international tourists are allowed to visit Malaysia under strict adherence to safety measures that have been put in place. As a start in fully reopening our international border, I am proud to share that effective 29 November, a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore will be implemented. Malaysia is also in the midst of implementing a Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA) with Indonesia.
13. I would like to take this opportunity to propose for the development of an appropriate regulatory coherence mechanism to facilitate safe, convenient and seamless travel on regional level. APEC can work on this collectively.
14. Finally, digitalisation and green growth is the path for a sustainable and resilient future of the region.
15. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly escalated digital transformation and technological adoption in every aspect of our lives. Innovative solutions borne out of necessity, has to a large extent, contributed to businesses’ survival, job preservation, new opportunities for informal groups and hastened progress of the gig economy.
16. More importantly, while we are in the pursuit of digital innovation at an exceptional pace, we should not lose track of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda to achieve a more vibrant and sustainable economic environment in our region. Under the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025, we are committed in developing enabling instruments for climate action, ensuring sustainable energy, accelerating transition to circular economy and increasing resilience to climate change and disaster. In this spirit, we have targeted to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 at the earliest.
Your Majesty and Excellencies,
17. Malaysia believes that APEC must continue to remain steadfast to its core purpose of promoting capacity building through economic and technical cooperation towards more inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth.
18. I am hopeful and optimistic that our deliberation and recommendations today would deliver fruitful and concrete outcomes.
19. The clarion call, as encapsulated in the Putrajaya Vision, for an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040 , is even more pronounced in a post COVID-19 world. Therefore, effective operationalisation of the implementation plan is key towards successful and sustainable future.
20. I look forward to adopting the APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration and the implementation plan of the Putrajaya Vision 2040 for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.
21. With that , terima kasih and stay safe.