APEC Leaders Affirm Cooperation over Coronavirus Vaccines

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 20 (Jiji Press)--APEC leaders agreed Friday to cooperate over the development and distribution of vaccines for the novel coronavirus while hammering out trade and investment liberalization goals for the next 20 years to succeed the so-called Bogor goals, which were drawn up in 1994.

In a joint declaration adopted at their online meeting, the leaders from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum member economies said that COVID-19 is "one of the most challenging health and economic crises of our times," adding that they "stand united" to enable the Asia-Pacific region to successfully recover from the pandemic and its economic impacts and are "committed" to protecting people's lives and safeguarding their health.

They reaffirmed the need to "cooperate constructively" on COVID-19, including the research and development, production, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostic tests, essential medical products and services, therapeutics and vaccines.

It was the first time in three years for the APEC forum to produce a joint declaration by leaders. Participants in the videoconference included Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Suga said that especially at a time when protectionist moves are increasing on the globe, it is important to establish free and fair global economic rules, and maintain and strengthen the multilateral free trade system in order to bring the world economy back to the recovery path after the end of the coronavirus crisis.

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