Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun yesterday attended a Special ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 and a Special ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 consecutively via videoconference.
The meetings were chaired by Mr Tran Tuan Anh, Viet Nam’s Minister for Industry and Trade, and attended by Economic Ministers from ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Secretary-General together with representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. The People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea attended the Special ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers Meeting.
Throughout the meetings, participants shared updates on respective national-level efforts and lessons learned in the pursuit of joint and collective efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s economic impacts. Ministers also exchanged views on the need to keep markets open to trade and investment, without enhancing the risk of viral spread, and to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains.
Participants were united in their strong support for lessening the impact on businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other key vulnerable economic sectors. Participants also discussed the need for an economic recovery plan which strengthens ASEAN’s economic resilience, expedites the flow of essential goods, including food, medicines, medical equipment and other supplies at all land entry points, sea and airports, while encouraging members to avoid taking undue measures that may affect the smooth flow of such essential goods and services.
The Union Minister apprised all participants of various measures being undertaken by the Government of Myanmar in the fight against COVID-19, including implementation of the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) and updates on COVID-19 Fund disbursements to vulnerable businesses affected by the COVID-19. The Union Minister noted that ensuring the flow of essential goods such as food, commodities, medicines and medical supplies would be essential in the short-term, while investment promotion efforts and strengthening cooperation with development partners will provide the foundations necessary for a more rapid and inclusive social and economic recovery.
The meetings culminated in the adoption of both the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and an ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Mitigating the Economic Impact of COVID-19.
U Than Aung Kyaw, Foreign Economic Relations Department Director-General and Senior Economic Officials Meeting Leader, and other key officials supported the Union Minister’s participation in both meetings.—MNA