The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) have agreed to strengthen cooperation in public health and the economy to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heads of states of 21 APEC member nations including President Moon Jae-in, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping adopted the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration during a virtual summit on Friday.
This year's joint declaration was the first in three years since the 2017 Da Nang Declaration in Vietnam. The leaders failed to agree on a declaration in 2018 and a summit was not held at all last year.
This year, leaders reaffirmed the need to cooperate constructively on COVID-19 including research and development, production, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostic tests, essential medical products and services, therapeutics and vaccines.
They also highlighted the importance of facilitating equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable vaccines and other medical countermeasures.
APEC leaders also recognized the importance of working together to ensure trade and investment can continue to flow in these trying times. They vowed cooperation in identifying and resolving unnecessary barriers to trade and strengthening the resilience of supply chains.
They also pledged to use all available policy tools to support an inclusive, effective and sustained response to COVID-19 to minimize its impact on people’s livelihoods.
In a newly adopted vision titled the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, the leaders also promised efforts to further advance economic integration in the region.