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APEC nations vow cooperation against pandemic, adopt Vision 2040

President Moon Jae-in attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations` summit on Friday. (Cheong Wa Dae)
President Moon Jae-in attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations` summit on Friday. (Cheong Wa Dae)

Leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member states on Saturday agreed to continue cooperating in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and adopted a vision that aims to strengthen trade and investment, and seek sustainable and inclusive growth until 2040.

Following the APEC summit, held virtually for the first time due to the pandemic, the countries announced their resolve to work together against the pandemic, referring to it as “one of the most challenging health and economic crises of our times.”

“We, the Economic Leaders of APEC, stand united in our determination to enable the Asia-Pacific region to successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts,” the joint declaration states.

“We are committed to protecting our people’s lives and safeguarding their health. We resolve to further navigate the region towards recovery along the path of strong, balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure economic growth.”

The declaration goes on to highlight the importance of international cooperation, saying that concerted effort is vital to dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

Saying that the APEC members will use all available policy tools to combat the pandemic and its economic impact, the declaration states that they recognize need for more stimulus measures, and need to improve fiscal sustainability.

The declaration also states that the concerned nations will work together to maintain supply chains and to facilitate cross-border movement of essential personnel.

“We will cooperate to facilitate the movement of essential goods and services, as well as the essential movement of people in a safe manner, identifying and resolving unnecessary barriers to trade and strengthening the resilience of our supply chains,” the declaration said.

As for APEC’s newly adopted vision – APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 – it outlines the goals the member nations will drive for over the next 20 years.

Putrajaya is a planned city that serves as the administrative center of the Malaysia, the chair of this year’s APEC summit.

According to APEC nations, the new vision is to create “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.” A comprehensive plan for implementing the vision will be drawn for next year’s APEC summit.

The main goals of the vision are improving trade and investment in the region, facilitating the advancement of digital technologies to be used for economic activities, and to seek “economic and technical cooperation, as well as structural reforms that drive innovation, productivity and sustainable growth.”

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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