May 5, 2020
On May 5 (Tue.), 2020, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade issued a joint statement on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
On May 5, 2020, in response to a call by Malaysia, the 2020 APEC chair, these ministers issued a Statement on COVID-19 by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade amid recent expansion of COVID-19. In issuing this statement, no extraordinary meeting was held by the ministers.
Highlights of the statement are as follows:
- The member economies should keep their markets open and work together to deliver a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, to ensure that trade and investment continue to flow;
- They should work to facilitate the flow of essential goods and services to fight the pandemic including medicines, medical supplies and equipment, agriculture and food products and other supplies across borders, and should minimize disruptions to global supply chains;
- Emergency measures designed to address COVID-19 challenges should be targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary and should not create unnecessary barriers to trade, and be consistent with WTO rules. The member economies recognize the need to notify any such measures in line with existing WTO rules.
- The member economies should develop a coordinated approach to collecting and sharing information on policies and measures, including immediate and long-term stimulus packages for the responses to the economic crisis caused by the impact of COVID-19 and the strength and learning of one economy should translate into best practices for the region as a whole;
- They should strengthen regional connectivity by intensifying their efforts to make global supply chains more resilient and less vulnerable to shocks, to advance sustainable economic growth; and
- They will strengthen APEC’s digital agenda, including electronic commerce and related services, with fresh perspectives and innovative means.