ASEAN leaders committed to COVID-19 recovery plan

Updated: June 28, 2020 Source:
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Leaders from the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reaffirmed their strong commitment to alleviating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 through a comprehensive recovery plan in a vision statement released on Friday.

The plan will focus on improving stability and resilience of the regional economy, preserving supply chain connectivity, while staying vigilant of the second wave of infections, said the ASEAN Leaders' Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN from the virtual 36th ASEAN Summit held on Friday under the chair of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

ASEAN has achieved positive results in controlling the pandemic, with low fatality rate and reduced cases of infection, and is entering a "new normal" phase, Phuc said at a press briefing held on Friday afternoon to announce the result of the summit.

The bloc's leaders agreed in the vision statement to undertake necessary measures for gradual revitalization of its economic activities to implement facilitative measures and to expedite recovery of the ASEAN economies.

The ASEAN member countries will duly address disruptions in trade links, promote and support regional and global supply chain connectivity and ensure unimpeded flow of essential goods and services, said the statement.

To tackle the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19, the ASEAN will support workers in the sectors affected, address employment and unemployment issues during the time of unprecedented crisis, besides many other measures.

The leaders also vowed to strengthen the capacity of the ASEAN and existing regional mechanisms on public health and emergency response, with practical measures including utilization of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund and establishment of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies.

In early June, economic ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states approved the Hanoi Action Plan on strengthening economic cooperation and supply chain connectivity in response to the COVID-19.

The 36th ASEAN summit had been scheduled for April in central Vietnam's Da Nang but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Established in 1967, the ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Editor: 于慧宸