To strengthen ASEAN’s economic resilience in the complicated situation of COVID-19 epidemic, ASEAN Economic Ministers agreed to take selective actions to reduce economic impacts caused by COVID-19 epidemic.
On 11th March, ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) released the statement on strengthening ASEAN’s economic resilience in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19.
In the situation of the acute respiratory infection caused by a new strain of the Corona virus (COVID-19), ASEAN Economic Ministers expressed deep concern over the outbreak of the disease, which has affected the lives of people as well as economies around the world; at the same time, expressed their sympathies to those countries, ASEAN and non-ASEAN alike, that have been affected by this disease.
The Ministers acknowledged on-going efforts by each ASEAN’s members, ASEAN sectorial bodies as well as other economies in controlling the spread and impacts of COVID-19 disease. At the same time, they also commended significant contribution of health and non-health personnel helping those affected by COVID-19.
The Ministers also emphasized the importance of solidarity, spirit of cohesion and proactive adaptation of ASEAN Community in facing the outbreak of COVID-19 and similar challenges. Particularly, the Ministers emphasized the urgent need for concerted efforts to avoid further adverse impacts in the global economies brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam chairs the AEM Conference\
Specifically, the Ministers committed to continue keeping the ASEAN market open for trade an investment; to strengthen regional information sharing and coordination in responding to the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The ASEAN countries work closely with enterprises, associations to strengthen the image of Southeast Asia as a trade, investment and tourism center in the region. At the same time, leverage technologies and digital trade to support and allow businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to continue their operations.
In addition, strengthen supply chain resilience and sustainability through the transparency and timeliness and in particular, the implementation of the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity 2025; enhance ASEAN economic cooperation with external partners to include initiatives aimed at strengthening regional supply chains to make them more stable and less vulnerable to internal and external shocks; build the existing trade facilitating platforms in ASEAN, such as ASEAN Single Window (ASW), to improve and support supply chain connectivity.
At the same time, refrain from actions that can create unnecessary pressures or adversely impact on food security in the region, make efforts to ensure the availability of basic goods and commodities, and continue addressing on-tariff barriers, particularly those that impede the smooth flow of goods and services in supply chain, and refrain from applying new and unnecessary non-tariff measures.