CYBERJAYA, Dec 4 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member economies to embrace the shared prosperity philosophy and include it in their current economic model.
Malaysia, which will play host to Apec 2020 he said, had chosen the theme “Optimising Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity” for next year’s gathering which indicated the importance of shared prosperity philosophy.
The country had recently launched the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, with the aim of creating an economy that can achieve balanced and sustainable growth, along with fair and equitable wealth distribution across income groups, ethnicities, geographical regions and supply chains.
“To my mind, it is time that member economies consider embracing this philosophy and embed it in the current economic model. Improving the overall wellbeing of our people and enabling every citizen to have a more decent living standard will make Apec sustainable and relevant as a grouping in the long run.
“In other words, trade and investment narratives will move beyond the creation of wealth, jobs and development into ensuring societal well-being as well,” said the Prime Minister in his speech during the launching of Apec 2020 here, today.
More importantly, he said, Malaysia would like to see the concept of shared prosperity driving the Post -2020 Vision for Apec and the philosophy cascades to every work that Apec undertakes moving forward beyond Bogor Goals.
The prime minister said, as the host of Apec 2020, Malaysia will continue the work on women in the economy, financial inclusion, engaging youth, sustainable development.
“We will also continue creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs, start-ups and social enterprise, as all these elements are critical components of a system that will contribute to shared prosperity,” said the Prime Minister.
Apec as a diverse forum and an incubator of ideas said Dr Mahathir, is well-positioned to capitalise on its strength of voluntary, non-binding and consensus decision-making to instil and advocate more meaningful results in the global trade and investment arena.
“Apec initiatives must now move past liberalisation initiatives to be more inclusive and involve all segments of the population,” he added.
He said Apec is important to Malaysia, as the region accounted for more than 80 per cent of the country’s total trade and more than 70 per cent of its foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector.
“About 40 per cent of the jobs created are directly attributable to activities linked to exports,” said Dr Mahathir.
The prime minister said it was also in Malaysia’s interest to ensure that this region remained business-friendly and that trade and investment policies would bring prosperity for all, right down to the man on the street.
Apec, comprising 21 economies, including Malaysia, is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia Pacific; and aims to create greater prosperity by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth, and accelerating regional economic integration. — Bernama