In the Joint Statement issued following the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat, they emphasized the “importance of ASEAN solidarity and the spirit of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community in facing the outbreak of the COVID-19 and similar challenges.”
They also acknowledged the ongoing efforts made by each of the ASEAN member countries, ASEAN agencies and other economies in containing the spread and negative impacts of the epidemic.
The regional ministers recognized the adverse impacts of the outbreak across range of economic sectors like tourism, production, retail sales and other service sectors as well as the disruption of supply chains and the financial markets.
The ministers underlined the urgent need for concerted efforts to avoid the adverse impacts on global economy brought by the epidemic.
Measures to restrict cross-border movements should be based on public health considerations and should not necessarily restrict intra-ASEAN trade, according to the statement.
They agreed to take selective course of actions in order to mitigate economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, committed to maintaining the ASEAN market open for trade and investment.
ASEAN member countries agreed to step up information sharing and coordination efforts in coping with economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak.
ASEAN will consolidate economic cooperation with external partners in orrder to strengthen the regional supply chains to make the region less vulnerable to internal and external shocks.
The bloc will also continue removal of non-tariff barriers, especially those that hinder the flows of goods and services in the supply chains while refraining from imposing new non-tariff measures that deem not necessary./.
By Quang Minh