Najib to lead Malaysian delegation to Apec summit

Najib to lead Malaysian delegation to Apec summit

BALI - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will lead a Malaysian delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Lea­ders Summit which begins today.

The meeting has been overshadowed by the absence of US President Barack Obama, who cancelled his trip to the summit and several Southeast-Asian countries including Malaysia, following a partial US government shutdown after a budget row in the Congress.

Obama is represented by Secretary of State John Kerry at Apec 2013.

Najib is expected to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from several countries, including Australia and New Zealand, and is also slated to attend the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders' meeting here.

The TPP is being pushed by Obama to create a Asia-Pacific free-trade area covering nearly 40 per cent of the global economic output.

Protests have erupted over fears that it could open domestic markets to foreign competition.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said Obama's absence would mean several high-level meetings with other economic leaders would be cancelled.

It is understood that Najib will also meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here.

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