APEC EMBRACES FREE TRADE
Trade ministers from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, including Japan, the United States and China, affirmed the importance of promoting free trade, at a teleconference on Saturday, according to Jiji Press.
The APEC ministers agreed to avoid piling up within their countries drugs and other goods necessary for the fight against the novel coronavirus, and to work to strengthen supply chains
At the teleconference, Japanese trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama stressed that no country should lean toward protectionism even in the current coronavirus crisis.
Kajiyama also called for utilizing digital technologies to beef up global supply chains after their vulnerability was exposed by the pandemic.
In May, the APEC trade ministers issued a joint statement highlighting the significance of free trade and the need to ensure the distribution of medical supplies.