Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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HomeWorldMinisters Unite On COVID-19 Vaccine Steps And Rejuvenating The WTO

Ministers Unite On COVID-19 Vaccine Steps And Rejuvenating The WTO


APEC Trade Ministers today committed to speeding up the
cross-border flow of vaccines and related goods to fight the
COVID-19 pandemic.

This followed the completion
of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade
Meeting
chaired by New Zealand Minister for
Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor early this
morning.

“As we face the biggest health
and economic crisis of our lifetimes, I was greatly
heartened to see how we united to make progress,” Minister
O’Connor said. “We represent half of global GDP and
wanted to use trade as a force for
good.

“We know nobody is safe until
everybody is safe from COVID-19, and we know that our region
prospers economically by keeping our markets open to one
another rather than closing ourselves off. APEC Trade
Ministers today agreed to:

  • “Act now to speed
    the flow of vaccines and vaccine-related goods by
    eliminating trade restrictions that increase the cost of
    vaccines and the goods that support
    them;
  • “A set of guidelines for their
    Customs authorities to ensure vaccines flow through ports
    and airports as quickly as possible so they are not sitting
    idle;
  • “Remove barriers to freight and
    logistics services that support trade in vaccines and
    vaccine-related goods to help fight the
    pandemic.”

“It is encouraging to see
APEC Trade Ministers working together to respond in
practical, concrete terms to the COVID pandemic and rebuild
our economies,” he said.

APEC Trade Ministers
re-affirmed their commitment to the rules-based multilateral
trading system by rejuvenating the World Trade Organization
(WTO) and injecting momentum into a series of trade
negotiations with the aim of concluding these by the end of
this year.

Just before the ministerial statement was
agreed, Minister O’Connor announced the winner of the 2021
APEC App Challenge, OneQR from Australia, an app that aims
to help people in the region consider safe and prudent
options for travel when the time is
right.

© Scoop Media

 



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