Trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) called Tuesday for the essential movement of people across borders, saying measures meant to address challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic should not create unnecessary barriers to trade.
The ministers said they will work to facilitate the flow of essential goods and services to fight the pandemic across borders, and minimize disruptions to the global supply chains.
"We will also ensure that trading links remain open and explore ways to facilitate essential movement of people across borders, without undermining the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus," the APEC ministers said in a statement on COVID-19 posted on the website of the regional economic forum.
APEC's 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Taiwan; Thailand; the United States; and Vietnam.
The ministers also said emergency measures designed to address COVID-19 challenges should be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary, and should be consistent with rules of the World Trade Organization. (Yonhap)