Time for Apec to embrace shared prosperity model, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

CYBERJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) group to consider the shared prosperity philosophy espoused by his administration to address what he called “the deficit of faith” across many economies.

The prime minister said Apec initiatives must move past the theme of liberalisation to be more inclusive of all segments of the population.

He added that improving overall public well-being and enabling citizens to achieve a more decent standard of living would make Apec sustainable and relevant in the long run.

“In other words, trade and investment narratives will move beyond the creation of wealth, jobs and development into ensuring societal well-being as well,” he said when launching Apec 2020 here.

Also present were Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok and International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking.

Earlier, Mahathir said the world is witnessing a deficit of faith across many economies.

He said the people were losing sight of the relevance or benefit of the prevailing global economic model due to the many imbalances in their daily lives.

He added that Apec 2020 was being launched against a backdrop similar to that of the 1997 financial crisis, as downside risks build up and trade policy tensions remain.

He said these trends would continue to weaken investors’ confidence, leading to diminishing trust in the public benefits of global trade and investment.

“In order to restore faith, we need to give meaning to our economic development efforts.

“We must work together towards the equitable share of benefits, from large corporations to small-and-medium enterprises right down to our citizens.”

He said when delivering the keynote address at the CEO Summit in Papua New Guinea last year, he had called on Apec economies to promote the shared prosperity model which was in line with the “prosper thy neighbour” call Malaysia had made in the past.

Putrajaya recently launched the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, aimed at creating an economy that can achieve balanced and sustainable growth along with fair and equitable wealth distribution.

“To my mind, it is time that member economies consider embracing this philosophy and embed it in the current economic model,” he said.