ASEAN economic ministers discuss recovery from COVID-19 epidemic

Photo taken in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, on Aug. 25, 2020 shows delegates attending the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting via video conference. (Photo: Xinhua)

HANOI-- Economic ministers of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday discussed the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic and its impacts.

 At the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting held online, the attendees exchanged views on the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussed and updated about the epidemic situation, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The ministers had discussion on the region's response to the epidemic, including its ability to roll out a comprehensive recovery plan, at the meeting, chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

Amid the epidemic, there have been a number of priorities for the ASEAN to deal with, including disruption of supply chains as well as movements of goods, products, individuals and human resources affected by disease prevention and control measures, Anh said in an interview with Vietnam News Agency on Tuesday.

He called for measures from ASEAN countries to further enhance the resilience of the economy and the capacity to respond to new situations.

 At the meeting, the ministers also discussed negotiation orientations towards the goal of completing the negotiation and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of 2020, the news agency reported.

Anh said Vietnam has worked actively with other ASEAN countries and their partners to promote the handling of unsolved problems in the RCEP negotiation.

The goal that Vietnam aims towards is to "continue the efforts to promote the signing process of RCEP in 2020 in Hanoi," and to seek for and further enhance the opportunities to connect with potential partners in trade-economy, he said.

The ministers reviewed the implementation of the bloc's economic initiatives in 2020 and approved documents including the ASEAN digital integration index at the meeting. The ASEAN's economic relations with a number of partners, including China, Japan and South Korea, were also tabled for discussion, according to Vietnam News Agency.

Established in 1967, the ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


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