Back in March after the 1st Senior Official Meetings of 2020 had taken place in KL, Malaysia, we observed that APEC’s response to the COVID-19 challenge would be a profound test of our collective commitment to our core values of cooperation, collaboration and partnership to secure the growth of our economies and the well-being of our people. That still holds true today. As the regional Governments and business leaders look to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, and rebuild our disrupted regional economy, decisive and coordinated action will be vital.
We warmly welcomed the MRT Statement on 5th May calling for collaboration at all levels and across all economies to hasten the fight against COVID-19. It is now time for concrete action, if we are to recapture momentum towards our shared goal of sustainable and inclusive growth, along with a renewed sense of optimism for our region.
I am pleased to share with you the attached ABAC COVID-19 Report, which contains ABAC’s recommendations for responding to the immediate impacts of the pandemic and laying the groundwork for economic recovery and building resilience. These include actions to address the pandemic itself, fiscal support and open trade and investment to address the economic consequences. Most importantly, there should be a commitment to sharing research findings and vaccine solutions on a free and open basis.
It is vital that APEC Ministers and Leaders continue to meet, including with ABAC and associated organization’s like PBEC to participation as appropriate, as we collectively seek to make tangible progress on the action agenda set out in the Report. To that end, business must also connect quickly in a coordinated and practical manner.
In conclusion, we stress that the region’s recovery and resilience are best served by staying true to APEC’s fundamental belief that regional cooperation, open markets, integration, innovation and inclusive, secure and sustainable growth best equip APEC economies to achieve the well-being and prosperity of our communities.