Sydney, Australia, Jul 16 (EFE).- Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum pledged on Friday to join forces to enable a strong economic recovery from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic and accelerate the production of Covid-19 vaccines.
“The pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on our region’s people and economies,” APEC said in a statement following a virtual meeting.
“But we will only overcome this health emergency by accelerating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines,” it added.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who chaired the meeting, said cooperation between countries was essential to overcome the health crisis in a sustainable way.
“To that end, we will redouble our efforts to expand vaccine manufacture and supply, support global vaccine sharing efforts, and encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms,” the trade group said.
The 21 leaders, including United States President Joe Bien and China’s Xi Jinping, also vowed for a “strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth” to ensure everyone in the region have the same opportunities and resources to adapt to change.
APEC leaders also underlined the importance of trade and investment as well as “an interconnected regional economy in tackling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in enabling a strong economic recovery for all our people.”
The APEC region reported 50 million coronavirus cases and one million deaths out of the 2.9 billion people living in the territory and caused a 1.9 percent decline of the bloc’s combined GDP, with some 81 million people losing their jobs. EFE