Malaysia calls on ASEAN+3 to keep market open during COVID-19 crisis

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 14 — Malaysia has called on ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) to remain committed in keeping the markets open and maintain normal flows of trade, services and investment during the COVID-19 crisis.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, during his intervention at the 23rd ASEAN+3 (APT) Summit today, said the markets must remain open to strengthen regional economic resilience without unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains.

“While we must continue to strengthen our cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, our focus now should be on our most pressing task at this point of time, which is the fight against COVID-19.

“Malaysia also hopes that the signing and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would send a strong message on the importance of strengthening regional economic integration, and further spur the economic growth in the region,” he added.

The 23rd ASEAN+3 (APT) Summit was held as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit hosted by Vietnam via video conference due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The APT was also joined virtually by Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of China; Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga; and South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

Meanwhile, during the same intervention, Muhyiddin also pointed out that Malaysia has expressed the importance to cooperate in utilising the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to ensure food security.

The cooperation in APTERR, he said, will help to ensure continuous food supply for people who are severely impacted by the current economic downturn as a result of this pandemic.

“As we face these challenging and tough times together, it is of utmost importance that ASEAN and the Plus Three continue to deepen our engagement and continue to support each other,” he added.

ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation was formed against the backdrop of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

— BERNAMA

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