ASEAN Plus Three vow joint efforts toward post-pandemic recovery, prevent potential risks of economic recession
Member-countries of ASEAN and their dialogue partners - Japan, South Korea and China - have vowed to join efforts towards post pandemic recovery and prevent possible economic recession.
This was part of the commitments made by the leaders of the 13 countries during their Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit held on Tuesday via video conference, said Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who also participated in the meeting.
In the joint statement issued by the leaders, he said they reaffirm their "commitments to strengthen joint efforts towards post pandemic recovery, stimulate economic development and financial resilience, restore growth, connectivity and tourism, maintain market stability and prevent potential risks of economic recession."
The leaders also underscored the need for enhanced national and regional capacities to prepare for and respond to pandemics including the protection of healthcare workers and other frontline personnel and the provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies especially diagnostic tools, personal protective equipment, medical equipment by adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety and accessibility, consider setting up an APT reserve of essential medical supplies that enables rapid response to emergency needs, encourage tapping on existing regional emergency reserve facilities including the warehouses managed by the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management among others.
They also agreed to further consider the utilization of the ASEAN Plus Three emergency rice reserve and to keep markets open for trade and investment, among others.
Nograles also said that during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the leaders also discussed about the Japanese manufactured anti-drug flu Avigan to fight coronavirus disease.
"The President (Rodrigo Duterte) had an exchange with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding this drug," he said.
Nograles said that Duterte reiterated the Philippines's readiness to participate in clinical trials of potential vaccine like Avigan.
"According to Prime Minister Abe, there are about 50 countries that are interested in studying this drug further; and Prime Minister Abe gave special mention to President Duterte in this regard," he said.
While the leaders spoke in different languages, he said most of them emphasized the need to "break the chain of infection" in each country and to work together to reduce the risk of cross-border infections. Celerina Monte/DMS