ASEAN+3 Economic Ministers adopt joint statement on COVID-19 response
Economic ministers from ASEAN member nations and the
three partners of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (known as ASEAN+3)
adopted a joint statement on June 4 on mitigating the economic impact of
At the virtual Special ASEAN Economic Minister (AEM)
Plus Three consultations on June 4
The joint statement was the outcome of the virtual
Special ASEAN Economic Minister (AEM) Plus Three consultations on the same
day to implement instructions from ASEAN+3 leaders made at the Special
ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19 on April 14.
The meeting was chaired by Tran Tuan Anh, Minister
of Industry and Trade, as Vietnam holds the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
The joint statement puts forward measures to
restrain the application of unnecessary moves that may affect the flow of
essential goods, medicine, and medical supplies in the region.
Non-tariff barriers on the flow of goods and
services in supply chains will be further removed, but restriction measures
will remain in place to tackle COVID-19.
Of note, the ministers encouraged the building of
guidelines that allow for the movement of business people through borders,
without harming efforts to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Efforts to optimise the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice
Reserve and seek the development of another reserve on essential medical
supplies were also high on the agenda.
They also vowed to support and allow businesses,
especially micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to
capitalise on technology and digital trade as well as to bolster customs
cooperation to facilitate customs clearance at border gates.
The countries agreed to continue devising the
ASEAN+3 Action Plan with more detailed measures in order to realise the
The adoption of the joint statement and preparation
for the ASEAN+3 Action Plan demonstrate the solidarity and cooperation
between ASEAN members and the three partners, in a “Cohesive and Responsive”
spirit and in a broad effort to cope with COVID-19 while standing ready to
face other challenges in the time to come./.VNA