KUALA LUMPUR — Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), a 21-country grouping that includes China, Japan and the United States, face collective economic losses of 2.1 trillion dollars in 2020 due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
In a report published on Monday, the Singapore-based Apec Secretariat forecast that the region’s economies will shrink by 2.7 per cent this year due to the pandemic.
The economic losses exceed the gross domestic products of Canada and South Korea, the fourth and fifth biggest economies in Apec, going by International Monetary Fund (IMF) country rankings.
Apec member states account for around 40 per cent of the rouhgly 2.4 million cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The projected recession across the Asia-Pacific will be “the most significant drop since the near-zero growth rate recorded in 2009 during the global financial crisis,” the secretariat said – losses it said will be “compounded by an additional 23 million people becoming unemployed in 2020.”
Rebecca Sta Maria, the secretariat’s executive director, said that member states have been “among the first and worst affected by the pandemic,” which has left economies “on a near standstill” due to the “stringent measures” put in place to curtail the virus’ spread – such as travel bans, border closures and lockdowns.
Last week the IMF said that the global economy could shrink by 3 per cent in 2020, with Asia facing its first year of economic standstill since the 1960s.Show