APEC postpones meetings due to Wuhan coronavirus pandemic

Malaysia has canceled all APEC meetings until April 30

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The 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, with Taiwan's Morris Chang (back row, fourth from right) 

The 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, with Taiwan's Morris Chang (back row, fourth from right)  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum has postponed several meetings due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday (March 24).

Malaysia had been scheduled to host several events, but it told fellow member economies that all meetings before April 30 are canceled, CNA reported. In addition, from March 18 through March 31, Malaysian citizens are not allowed to leave the country, while foreign nationals are barred from entering.

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2), the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT), the Tourism Working Group (TWG), and the Tourism Ministers Meeting (TMM) have been postponed from mid-April to June 15-28, according to MOFA, though Malaysia said it will decide in May whether those changes are realistic.

No new dates have yet been decided for a meeting of deputy finance ministers and deputy central bank governors originally set for Kuala Lumpur March 17-19 and for the April 1-4 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC2) meet planned for Manila.

Other international conferences important for Taiwan are the April 21-23 Asian Productivity Organization (APO) confab in Fiji and the May 2-5 Asian Development Bank (ADB) meeting in Inchon, South Korea, MOFA said. The ADB has decided to hold a small-scale meeting at its Manila headquarters on May 22 and a larger event in Inchon Sept. 18-21, according to the CNA report.