KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies should focus on accelerating global recovery, green and sustainable development, digital transformation and mitigating climate change to ensure global financial stability and food security, a Malaysian expert said.
Later this month, the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in Thailand will see the leaders discuss regional and global paradigm shifts and actions to achieve a more balanced and sustainable economy.
"Multilateral platforms, including APEC, are important mechanisms which could contribute in reshaping the global order to one that is more equitable, fair and just, and advancing international rules and norms in keeping with changes over time and by embracing multicultural values," said Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank.
Koh noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the intensifying geopolitical tensions have caused severe disruptions to global supply chain. The international system is now under stress and globalization is increasingly strained. However, globalization is crucial to developing economies which depend on export and foreign direct investment for growth.
"China is the backbone of the global supply chain and acts as a ballast stone of the global economy in times of uncertainty," he told Xinhua.
The Global Development Initiative put forth by China, which aims to steer global development towards a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth, is therefore timely and imperative to counter deglobalization headwinds.
According to Koh, the pandemic, geopolitical conflict and climate change have caused world food shortage and pushed more people into poverty. China's experiences in poverty reduction are valuable for the developing world.
Stressing the importance of technology, he said that as technology and innovations are the main drivers of economic growth in the 21st century, multilateral platforms should act as catalysts of digital transformation.
"APEC members should maintain neutral in the technology world and promote greater cybersecurity cooperation amid big power competition. Science and technology should benefit the entire mankind and must not be geopoliticised."
Koh also believed that APEC should prioritize cooperation among their members to prevent the re-occurrence of pandemic by developing new medications and adhering to standard protocols to stem the spread of communicable diseases.
"Climate change, if not mitigated, may become an existential threat to mankind. China, a leader in renewable energy, should make good use of these multilateral platforms in sharing its lessons, experiences and expertise in these fields with other member countries," he said.
Meanwhile, working groups should be set up under these multilateral mechanisms to address these challenges, Koh said. ■