Safe reopening of borders needed to boost economic recovery in Asia-Pacific: Gan Kim Yong

SINGAPORE – The safe reopening of borders is needed in the Asia-Pacific region for businesses to reconnect with the world and support economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Trade and Industry Minister Gan said. Kim Yong.

“Business transactions can take place virtually, but nothing can replace face-to-face interactions to build relationships and build trust,” he told a meeting of the Asia-Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council. Pacific (Apec) Wednesday 16 February.

The four-day council meeting, Abac, the private sector arm of the 21-member Apec, is hosted by Singapore and held in a hybrid format at Resorts World Sentosa.

Abac’s mandate is to advise government leaders and Apec officials on matters of interest to the business community. Beyond Asia, Apec members include the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru.

A total of 100 delegates physically attended Wednesday’s meeting, while a similar number connected virtually for the morning session.

Mr. Gan said, “As the voice of business, Abac has the unique ability to influence and lead many positive changes in the integration of APEC economies.

He applauded the council’s work last year on the Reopening Borders for Safe and Smooth Travel Task Force, chaired by Abac Singapore representative and Singapore Federation of Business chief executive Lam Yi Young. .

The task force’s recommendations led to the creation of the Apec Safe Passage Task Force, which will convene its first meeting on Feb. 21 to discuss ways to achieve a safe and seamless resumption of cross-border travel among Apec members.

Gan said Singapore supports work on this front, including talks on simplifying health protocols and mutual recognition of health certificates.

“While Covid-19 remains unpredictable, we need to find a way to live with the virus, including vaccination,” he said.

“This approach has enabled Singapore to continue the journey of reopening our borders in a safe and calibrated manner to facilitate international travel,” he added, referring to the introduction of quarantine-free vaccinated traffic lanes.

“This will help to further expand our travel network and strengthen our connectivity with the rest of the world.”

Gan said that to further strengthen economic recovery, APEC members should also explore opportunities for cooperation in the digital economy, seize new growth prospects in the green economy, and strengthen the resilience of the chain. supply.

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