A total of 21 leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) began arriving in San Francisco to attend the 30th meeting of the intergovernmental forum scheduled to take place from 14-17 November.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at 9.37pm (Pacific Standard Time), on Monday in San Francisco to attend his first APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM).
The leaders of Vietnam, Peru, the Philippines and Indonesia are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday (Nov 14), while leaders from South Korea, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Australia, Colombia and Mexico will arrive on Wednesday (Nov 15).
Meanwhile, the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his meeting with the President of the United States (US) Joe Biden outside the meeting to find a way to overcome the tangle in the bilateral relationship between the two superpowers is also in the spotlight.
The White House has confirmed that the meeting between the leaders will take place on Wednesday (Nov 15).
Moscow instead sent Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk to represent Putin. The Interfax News Agency reported that Putin personally decided that Overchuk, 58, would lead the Russian delegation. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin has been ostracized by Western leaders including the US.
In the meantime, Hong Kong leader John Lee will not attend the event and instead he will be represented by Hong Kong Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.
APEC is an intergovernmental forum involving 21 economies that promotes free trade across the Asia-Pacific region. As APEC Chair for 2023, the US will host AELM for the third time.
This time San Francisco was chosen as the meeting location, after Blake Island in 1993 and Honolulu (2011). San Francisco is the commercial, financial and cultural center of Northern California.
San Francisco’s Bay Area is home to a large number of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies such as Tesla, Uber, Salesforce, Pixar, Netflix, Lucasfilm Ltd, Levi Strauss, and several leading innovative firms in the development of AI, biotechnology, software, clean technology and social media .
This year, Biden will chair AELM and lead discussions with APEC Leaders on strengthening economic ties; improve inclusion and sustainability; as well as strengthening economic resilience and complexity in line with the APEC 2023 theme, “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”.
The 30th AELM is expected to adopt the APEC Leaders’ 2023 Golden Gate Declaration.
The US and Malaysia are among the 12 original founders of APEC including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico and Papua New Guinea joined the economic cooperation in 1993, followed by Chile in 1994, while Peru, Russia and Vietnam in 1998 made full membership to 21.