Vietnam resort city braces for Najib and other Apec leaders

10-Nov-2017 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other leaders of the 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member economies are convening here this week to discuss ways to boost growth and new drivers of regional trade and investment.

The meeting comes amid concerns over a nuclear-armed North Korea and question marks over whether tensions in the South China Sea would intensify.

US President Donald Trump, making his maiden appearance at the summit, is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines, possibly to discuss how to stem the threats posed by Pyongyang.

Besides Najib, Trump and Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong will all be in Vietnam’s third-largest city for the summit.

Most of the leaders will arrive on or before Friday, ahead of the official welcome ceremony and gala dinner to be hosted by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. The leaders will then convene at a plush resort hotel for retreat sessions and lunch on Saturday.

Najib and other leaders will focus on pushing for trade-driven growth, injecting new dynamism into the bloc and possibly tackling skepticism of globalisation over two days from Friday. The leaders’ summit is preceded by the Apec Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting and Apec ministerial Meeting.

The prime minister, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was expected to arrive in the coastal city on Thursday afternoon, Malaysian ambassador to Vietnam Zamruni Khalid told the local media on Wednesday.

International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed is also attending the forum.

Besides their annual summit, Najib and the other leaders are due to attend an informal dialogue with leaders of Asean countries which are not Apec members, Zamruni said.

Najib and leaders of the other 10 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership including Japan were due to meet on the sidelines of the Apec meeting. They were to discuss the fate of the TPP minus the participation of the US, which designed but subsequently abandoned it.

Zamruni said Najib was also due to make a courtesy call to President Tran and have bilateral talks with prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Dialogues with US-Apec Business Coalition and Apec Business Advisory are also on the prime minister’s schedule.

He will wrap up his packed itinerary with dinner with the Malaysian diaspora in the country on Saturday before flying to Manila for the Asean Summit on Sunday morning.

Senior Apec officials said the forum was also aiming to improve living standards for the three billion people of the Apec region that accounts for half of global trade and 60 per cent of gross domestic product worldwide.


Category: Regional

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