Malaysia Is Hosting APEC 2020. Here Are The Reasons It Impacts Our Lives Positively

"I want to see small businesses grow"

Cover image via New Straits Times & Flickr

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum involving 21 economies, with the goal of creating greater prosperity for the region

This year, Malaysia is the host economy of the annual forum. With more than 50 virtual meetings on the agenda involving delegates around 21 APEC economies, Malaysia is advocating the integration of "Shared Prosperity" principles in all efforts by member economies to bolster the region’s social and economic developments.

"Shared Prosperity" is a value championed by Malaysia as the host of APEC 2020

In the Malaysian context, Shared Prosperity can ensure the well-being of Malaysians. The goal is to make Malaysia a nation that achieves sustainable growth along with fair and equitable distribution across income groups, ethnicities, regions, and supply chains.

A variety of topics covering different aspects of the economy will be discussed during APEC 2020

The key highlights to be discussed include:
- Life science innovation forum meeting
- Policy partnership on women and the economy
- Tourism working group
- APEC webinar on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on future of work
- Small and medium enterprises working group meeting
- And much more!

But at the root of it all, the goal of APEC is to help us. Here's why APEC can positively impact the lives of everyday Malaysians:

1. Encouraging collaborative efforts - "My neighbourhood community always champions collaboration among local businesses, which is exactly what APEC is all about"

For illustration purposes only.

Image via Flickr

"I think it's so cool that Malaysia is hosting APEC this year. I live in a close-knit community that uses social media a lot to communicate, connect, and help one another. We all make it a point to support local mom and pop stores, from sundry shops to cafes, and everything in between. So we do feel proud that Malaysia is the host of APEC and hope that it will create more opportunities and policies that will support homegrown stores."

- Shern, 29.

A key talking point during APEC will be discussions surrounding monetary interventions undertaken by governments, with the aim to protect lives, livelihoods, and businesses. There will be a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and how the government can continue to support their growth for the economy. 

2. Boosting e-commerce presence - "I can still buy the freshest groceries from local farmers without going to the morning market"

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Image via iStock

"I've never been a big fan of morning markets because of the crowds, carrying heavy shopping, and also... no parking! But when MCO was enacted, I think a lot of different businesses came together to help farmers continue to sell their goods online.

There was just this huge wave of support for all things local. #Kitajagakita right? Ever since then, I've been buying my fresh produce online, from local farms. I feel like that's my way of ensuring my family gets the best, as well as supporting local!"

- Natalie, 31.

3. Supporting the gig economy - "I'm excited to see the outcome of APEC because I want to see small businesses grow"

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Image via Freepik

"A lot of my friends lost their jobs this year and have been coming up with new ways to earn an income. From taking service jobs to starting small businesses from home, I'm so proud of them for their grit and creativity. Selling baked goods, frozen seafood, making cloth masks, drop shipping, setting up micro logistics companies... There's a lot of innovation happening.

With Malaysia as the host of APEC, I hope to see good things come out of it. Things that will help my friends' budding businesses, as well as other local businesses, blossom and grow not just in Malaysia, but internationally as well."

- Ariff, 28.

One of the main benefits of APEC is ensuring that goods, services, investment, and people move easily across borders. These things are enabled through several policies, such as faster customs procedures at borders for members; more favourable business climates behind the border; and aligning regulations and standards across the region.

4. Easing of logistical movements of goods - "It's so much more convenient and safe to shop from home"

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Image via Expressway Courier

"Now that we're going out less, it can be difficult to shop for both needs and wants. With more local stores selling online, I've been able to get all my shopping from the comfort of my home, have things delivered directly to me, and still support local businesses."

- Pavithra, 35.

APEC member economies will be discussing digitalisation to help connect SMEs to their customers. Now that the pandemic has changed the way we shop, this is a crucial talking point that will enable everyday Malaysians to continue to living life to the fullest, while also helping smaller businesses stay afloat.

5. Providing regional support and growth - "Now is the time when the people and community are coming together to support one another, it's all over social media!"

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Image via Moula

"Not all of us are privileged enough to be able to work from home during these tough times. So, it has been really heartwarming seeing how Malaysians are truly doing what they can to help local businesses. Now, we can see Malaysians selling through social media, not only to other Malaysians but to other economies in APEC as well.

I've seen people creating Twitter threads of local businesses to support, or even just using the 'Support Small Business' sticker to tag and promote their fave kedai-kedai on Insta stories. I think this really captures what shared prosperity is all about. Everyone is doing their part to make sure that we all make it through these difficult times together."

- Adam, 25.

With a vision of "Shared Prosperity", APEC aims to ensure those vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 can be protected through collaborative economic means.

Want to find out more about APEC 2020 and how it can help Malaysians? Head over to their website now!

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