CYBERJAYA: Malaysia is of the opinion that it is not necessary to hold the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in the United States in January next year.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said such an opinion was shared by most of the APEC nation members.
"I heard that there were invitations extended to APEC countries. But, almost every one of us has decided it was unnecessary and we will not go," he told reporters after the launch of APEC 2020 with Malaysia as the hosting country.
Also present was International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking and his deputy Dr Ong Kian Ming.
Dr Mahathir added that Chile had done a good deal of preparation throughout the year.
"It was not necessary to hold the impromptu meeting (in the US)."
Malaysia was reported to have disagreed with Washington's proposal to hold the APEC leaders meeting in the US in January next year.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was quoted as saying that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called him when they were in Bangkok to ask for Malaysia's position on the matter since Chile was not able to host it.
Chile had cancelled the APEC Leaders meeting following street protests in the country.
Malaysia had also expressed its understanding through Wisma Putra regarding the Chilean government’s decision to cancel the hosting of the APEC Leaders’ Week 2019 was made in the interest of safety and welfare of delegates.
Dr Mahathir was scheduled to attend the said meeting together with US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
APEC member economies comprise Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
On APEC's effectiveness to address trade war and trade tension concerns, Dr Mahathir said more than 30 years APEC had played a very important role.
"It is obvious that most countries are adopting the APEC resolution and have made good progress. It was only later that we have this trade war between the US and China. Even though that has affected a bit of cohesiveness of APEC, the spirit is still there.
"People want to attend the APEC meeting and I think this discussion will produce substantive results," he added.
It was reported that the US-China trade war had dragged into its 16th month and continued to disrupt supply chains.