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FM stresses need for allowing ‘essential’ business travels amid COVID-19

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a virtual Group of 20 nations’ ministerial forum on Thursday. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a virtual Group of 20 nations’ ministerial forum on Thursday. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called for the need to allow essential trips by businesspeople, while countries maintain quarantine measures on COVID-19 outbreak, during a Group of 20 nations’ ministerial forum, her office said Friday. 

Kang attended the special video session of G-20 on Thursday evening, which came ahead of the regular G-20 ministers’ meeting slated for November, where the members discussed global cooperation in the battle against the novel coronavirus. 

During a more than two-hour session, Kang stressed that Korea is responding to the COVID-19 with principles of openness and transparency with the cooperation of Korean nationals, despite the recent surge of infections here. 

“In order to restore economy and global supply chain, it is crucial for countries to allow essential trips of entrepreneurs and their workers, while maintaining country-specific quarantine system,” she was quoted as saying. 

She said Korea has implemented a “fast-track” entry program with several countries, which allows essential trip by businesspeople in exception to coronavirus entry restrictions. She also proposed to expand this entry program with more countries in the future. 

So far, Seoul launched “fast-track” program with China, the United Arabs Emirates, Indonesia and Singapore. 

The G-20 member countries stressed the importance of opening borders to recover and develop global economy, while respecting country-specific quarantine measures. They also discussed ways to support their overseas nationals returning back to their home countries.
 
The regular G-20 ministerial meeting is slated for November 20 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the even of the G-20 summit scheduled for 21-22.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)
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