Vietnam calls for efficient functioning of APEC supply chains

Member economies of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) need to continue free and open trade and investment activities while implementing initiatives to ensure the efficient and smooth operation of the regional supply chain of goods and services and facilitatethe movement of essential goods.
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Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien attends the virtual meeting. Photo: NhanDan

The remark was made by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien at the virtual meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade held on the evening of June 5 (Vietnam time).

The 27th APEC Ministerial Meeting, chaired by Hon Damien O’Connor - New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, discussed the important role of trade in tackling the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and in enabling a strong economic recovery for all people.

Minister Nguyen Hong Dien said that to ensure economic development and social stability, APEC member economies should be united and determined to maintain free and open trade and investment in addition to strengthening regional economic integration and ensuring APEC's leading role in the Asia-Pacific region, cited NhanDan.

He urged the APEC member economies to focus discussions on finalizing an action plan for the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 this year, which would lay basis for intra-bloc cooperation over the next two decades.

As Covid-19-induced social distancing rules and travel restrictions remain in place in many economies, e-commerce and digital transformation play an increasingly important part in economic development and daily life. The Vietnamese minister proposed APEC to bolster collaboration in innovation, digital trade and the Internet; ensure effective digital infrastructure and connectivity; building digital capability for its businesses and workforce, particularly disadvantaged groups such as women and people with disabilities.

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Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, chairs the 27th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on June 5. Photo: VNA

He singled out the pressing issue of Covid-19 vaccine production and distribution, which is considered the most effective way to protect the community’s well-being. Vietnam supports cooperation within APEC that ensures safe, effective, fair and timely production and supply of Covid-19 vaccines; minimize intellectual property barriers to Covid-19 vaccines; and foster information exchange and technology transfer for the vaccine production, he said, Vietnamplus reported.

In that spirit, he continued, Vietnam backed the adoption of a APEC MRT Statement on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Chains.

At the meeting, APEC Ministers also focused on discussing trade policies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and their support for the multilateral trading system.

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