IN FACING COVID-19, MALAYSIA PIVOTED, PRIORITISED AND PROGRESSED TO HOST APEC VIRTUALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME
Business Today Malaysia|November 2020
Over 20,000 working hours throughout the year involving delegates from 21 Asia Pacific economies. And the year-long feat is far from over. Malaysia placed itself on the world map by pulling off a spectacular feat – by hosting the Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) 2020 virtually for the first time in the summit’s history. The country has thus set the benchmark as New Zealand revealed plans to host next year’s summit in a similar fashion.

How did Malaysia do it with the backdrop of the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic?

It was with a whole lot of teamwork – including some 35 Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) staff members who are part of the APEC 2020 National Secretariat, representatives from various ministries and government agencies, and 1,422 volunteers.

MITI - the APEC 2020 National Secretariat had been keeping close tabs on the pandemic since January. The ministry even went on to prepare videos on social distancing and washing hands regularly as delegates visited the country. The video was even played in a Feb 2 meeting.

The level of preparedness was evident even when the nation’s borders were still open. Foreign delegates were given health declaration forms upon arrival. MITI kept one copy while the delegates kept the other copy which had information, including the nearest hospital if they showed Covid-19 symptoms. Hotels were told to scan and record the temperatures of those entering their premises as face masks were handed out while sanitization stations were placed around the meeting venue. Delegates were also given hand sanitizers.

Even in February, some of the delegates were not able to attend the meetings as the concerned economies tightened their borders. They instead joined virtually, marking the beginning of APEC 2020’s digital experience.

In the middle of April, discussions were held regarding APEC 2020 and the first proper virtual meeting was with Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, the executive director of the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore. Sta Maria suggested that the host writes to all the economies about the decision to have the Virtual Extraordinary Senior Officials meeting on May 27.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TODAY MALAYSIAView All

MAKING THE RIGHT PIVOT TO ADAPT TO CHANGING TIMES

The arrival of the pandemic has disrupted industries both globally and nationwide. Much like its peers, the property industry was left to face an unprecedented number of shifts and along with the shifts, came the impact as well.

4 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2020

In an unprecedented year, businesses faced both struggles and opportunities in the midst of a pandemic. With more focus on digitalisation, the business community have found themselves in a shift that is changing the way Malaysian consumers behave with technology, requiring a more seamless and effective experience.

9 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

OFFERING USERS A SMOOTHER DRIVE

As a car enthusiast, Gim Teck Yew is constantly looking into changing and with newer models entering the market more often, he found selling his old cars a hassle.

3 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

MAKING THE SUSTAINABLE CHOICE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Sustainability has been at the forefront of business discussions in recent years, making it an unavoidable topic that every business needs to be aware of as we preserve our world for future generations in everything we do for our people, planet and community.

9 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

LEVERAGE INTERNET PENETRATION TO EXPAND E-COMMERCE MARKET

Sofea Azahar is Research Analyst at EMIR Research, a think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

3 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

EXIM BANK CONTINUES TO BE PREFERRED TRADE FINANCIER FOR GLOBAL BUSINESSES

Despite the challenging Covid-19 situation and decline in oil prices, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (EXIM Bank) continues to be the preferred trade financier and advisor of global businesses, as it finds ways to lend its support to Malaysian businesses by financing their cross-border projects.

3 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

DRIVING DIGITAL RECOVERY THROUGH SMES

BusinessToday speaks to Facebook Malaysia’s Country Director, Nicole Tan on the importance of SMEs leveraging digital tools to expand their offerings and why platforms like Facebook hold the responsibility in helping the community

4 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

E-PEDAGOGY: STIMULATING THE PHYSICAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE USING EDTECH

Schools across the Asia Pacific were caught off guard and unprepared when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

4 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

A RAY OF LIGHT IN 2021...?

No one would have thought that the economy this year is going to be in recession although I have been toying with such an idea since 2018. Back then, the yield curve inversion in the US Treasury markets really caught my attention.

3 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020

Mental Health And The Effects On The Economy

Jamari Mohtar and Tam Mei Si are part of the research team of EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

4 mins read
Business Today Malaysia
December 2020
RELATED STORIES

CALLS TO REOPEN CLASSROOMS GROW AS TEACHERS GET VACCINATED

State leaders around the U.S. are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic.

5 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #481

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas HIKING ICON

Thomas has thru-hiked more than 20 long trails, including the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails (the Triple Crown). On top of that, she set a fastest known time on the AT for an unsupported woman and has completed dozens of urban thru-hikes as well. This issue, she joins Backpacker as a contributing editor. Here’s some of Thomas’s best advice and insight fed by more than 20,000 trail miles.

2 mins read
Backpacker
January - February 2021

love conquers all

AMBER CLAIRE HUDDLESTON & GRIFFIN LOUIS BROWN MAY 9, 2020 • WEST POINT

4 mins read
Mississippi Magazine
January - February 2021

BULLETS, BEANS, AND BINKIES

A Recon Marine’s Assessment of One Family’s COVID Bugout

10 mins read
OFFGRID
Issue 41

A NOSE FOR COVID-19

Central Florida Company Trains Canines to Detect Virus

3 mins read
Central Florida Health News
January 2021

A DIAGNOSIS OF CHARLOTTE'S COVID ECONOMY

Business Alliance digests data that illustrates how virus has swamped commerce

3 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
December 2020

DISCONNECTION

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have increasingly segregated along racial and class lines since a federal judge’s 1999 ruling ended a successful, 28-year desegregation program. The COVID lockdown of schools has hurt everybody in the system—and widened the gap between its haves and have-nots

10+ mins read
Charlotte Magazine
January 2021

Goodbye 2020 Hello 2021!

A writing “round robin” by Cat Talk staffers Teresa Keiger, Jean Aldrich, Lucy Drury, and Iris Zinck

6 mins read
Cat Talk
December 2020

REMOTE WORKING: VIRUS ENCOURAGES BUSINESSES TO THINK DIFFERENTLY

With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak forcing governments to close schools, sporting events, communal spaces and more, businesses are taking the situation into their own hands, encouraging their staff to work from home.

6 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #479 *Special Edition

Back To School: Return To The Classroom Safely

Five months on from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and policymakers and public health officials have decided it’s time to return to the classroom. Around the world, schools and colleges are preparing for a new semester, and though environments may be different, one thing is clear: teachers and students will be depending on technology more than ever.

7 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #479 *Special Edition