KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Only RM66.6 million was used from the RM300 million allocated for the cost of hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Mohamed Azmin, who is also the International Trade and Industry Minister, said the savings of RM233.4 million was the result of the transition from the physical to virtual hosting format due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the closure of national borders.
“Of the RM66.6 million, a total of RM13.1 million was channeled to three ministries, namely the Ministry of Finance (RM7 million), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (RM4.1 million) and Ministry of Home Affairs (RM2 million).
“The remaining RM53.5 million was spent for hosting the APEC conference at various stages, including the meetings at ministerial level relating to the trade, health, finance, women, small and medium enterprises, and food safety as well as the senior officials’ meetings that started as early as December 2019,” he said when winding up the committee-level Budget 2021 debate for MITI in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to questions from Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) on the savings from hosting APEC 2020.
Mohamed Azmin said the RM233.4 million saved had been returned to the Finance Ministry to support economic recovery efforts through several economic stimulus packages to assist the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, he said, 146 meetings and related programmes at various levels were held during the year of APEC 2020.
He said the Pakatan Harapan government, when approving an APEC 2020 hosting allocation of RM350 million in 2019, had based it on the forecast expenditures through three phases — RM20 million for 2019, RM300 million for 2020 and the remaining RM30 million for 2021.
Mohamed Azmin said the fund for 2019 was for initial preparatory works while the allocation for 2020 was for hosting the APEC conference throughout 2020.
“Meanwhile, the allocation for 2021 is for the final payments for all contractual commitments still in force after the APEC 2020 conference as well as completing all APEC 2020 documentation processes for archives and audit,” he said.