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APEC needs to strengthen cooperation in COVID-19 response

VGP – State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that as a region that hosts global leading vaccine production and supply centers, APEC needs to strengthen cooperation in this field.

07/17/2021 07:40

Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Nguyen stressed the point in his remarks on July 16 at the APEC Informal Leaders' Meeting designed to shape a regional response to the recovery from COVID-19.

The Vietnamese State President commented that the response to the pandemic last year has left many lessons for APEC member economies. Notably, the lesson of the consensus and joining hands of people and member economies in the implementation of comprehensive, scientific, multilateral and inclusive measures for pandemic prevention. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe.

He said prospects for economic recovery depend principally on accelerating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.

Using new technologies and accelerating digital transformation are an important foundation for sustainable development, he added.

Nguyen proposed three recommendations for APEC cooperation: (i) soon implementing cooperation programs to support vulnerable groups in order to overcome the crisis, improving the resilience and adaptability of businesses, especially MSMEs, providing skill training for workers, and narrowing the digital gap between urban and rural areas; (ii) promoting regional cooperation in technology transfer and capacity improvement in vaccine research and production, and at the same time studying the possibility of developing an interim agreement of APEC on the abolition of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines; (iii) developing an APEC Guidelines on maintaining supply chains in emergency situations to ensure flows of the economy.

Nguyen briefed Viet Nam’s efforts to realize the dual goals of pandemic prevention and control as well as economic development, while appreciating the support of the international community for its fight against COVID-19.

He also affirmed Viet Nam’s commitment to closely coordinating with other member economies to promote cooperation for a better future for all.

The APEC leaders’ meeting focuses on COVID-19 and its economic effects and has been considered a chance for high-level information sharing that shapes the region's collective response to the pandemic.

The Leaders underlined the important role of cooperation and multilateral measures in together overcoming the health crisis, boosting innovative, sustainable, inclusive and secure economic recovery.

Accordingly, they agreed on four orientations for action of APEC in the coming time: (i) supporting vaccine sharing between economies, calling for technology transfer, and strengthening a resilient health system in response to current and future crises; (ii) stepping up the implementation of macroeconomic policies and policies to support women and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and responding to climate change in order to create jobs, improve economic productivity and boost innovation so as to facilitate the economic recovery: (iii), accelerating the digital transformation process and narrowing the digital gap, including solutions to enhance digital skills for employees to participate in the new labor market; (iv), facilitating the circulation of goods and services, ensuring smooth operation of supply chains and supporting vaccine distribution, while opening for cross-border travelling with medical safety ensured.

The APEC Leaders adopted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Statement: Overcoming COVID-19 and Accelerating Economic Recovery./.

By Anh Minh