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APEC 2020: First Senior Officials’ Meeting begins today

PUTRAJAYA, The first Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) and related meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 Summit kicked-off in Putrajaya today, as policymakers and officials meet till Feb 22 to deliberate on priorities agenda for the region.

APEC 2020 National Secretariat in a statement today said a total of 102 meetings, workshops, activities and field trips have been lined up by various ministries and agencies for the delegates.

Over 1,700 delegates from 21 economies have registered for these meetings, it said.

“Discussions in the meeting will be centred on setting the work plan for their respective committees and working groups, in progressing the Shared Prosperity agenda aligned with the APEC 2020 theme,” it said.

Malaysia is hosting the 2020 APEC, themed Optimising Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity.

Through the identified priorities of ‘Improving the Narrative of Trade and Investment’, ‘Inclusive Economic Participation Through Digital Economy and Technology’, and ‘Driving Innovative Sustainability’, Malaysia planned to bring all the economies together for an in-depth discussion towards delivering substantive and effective deliverables for APEC 2020, it said.

The secretariat said officials, together with the private sector, would be deliberating on issues that included business mobility, food security, sustainable development, customs procedure, standards setting, health, and intellectual property rights.

In managing the risks and threats of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the APEC 2020 National Secretariat said it was working closely with Malaysia’s Health Ministry and other relevant authorities to ensure the safety of delegates and all parties involved in the meetings.

Various safety and precautionary measures undertaken included providing liquid sanitisers at various locations at meeting venues and accommodations, providing suitable surgical disposable face masks for all delegates and working members, and providing non-contact thermometer to check body temperatures at all information counters, it said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

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