APEC secretariat backs Chile for cancelling meet, looks ahead to Malaysia as 2020 host

The death toll in Chile's anti-government protests rose to 10 in the capital Santiago, local authorities said. (Photo: ANI). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

IPOH, Oct 31, 2019, Malay Mail. The Apec secretariat expressed support today for Chile’s decision to withdraw from hosting the Leaders’ Week next month and the COP25 climate summit in December over mass demonstrations in the country, Malay Mail reported.

Apec Secretariat executive director Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria also expressed the organisation’s gratitude to Chile for its efforts as this year’s host.

“The safety and welfare of Chile and our member economies are Apec’s utmost priority.

“As such, the Apec Secretariat supports Chile’s decision to suspend the hosting of Apec Leaders’ Week,” she said in a statement today.

The former secretary-general of Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Ministry said Apec nations will keep up efforts to ensure the region’s continued economic growth.

“Malaysia will host Apec in 2020,” she concluded.

The Apec Leaders’ Week had been scheduled to run from November 11 to 17 while the COP25 would have taken place between December 2 and 13.

Chile announced yesterday that it would no longer host both after civil unrest over income inequality descended into violence as security forces were deployed to quell the demonstrations.

It was reported that riots, arson and protests over inequality in Chile this month have left at least 18 dead, 7,000 arrested and Chilean businesses hit with losses of around US$1.4 billion.

US President Donald Trump and his China counterpart, Xi Jinping, had been scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the summit and the cancellation has fuelled expectations that their two countries’ tariff war will now extend.

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