As virus bites, ASEAN leaders make vow on food and medicine supply
Hanoi: Southeast Asian leaders pledged to keep trade routes open to protect food supplies and stockpile medical equipment at a summit held online Tuesday, as they warned of the crippling economic cost of the coronavirus.
Led by Vietnam -- which chaired the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting -- leaders agreed to share resources and fight to limit further damage to the region’s tourism and export-reliant economies, already ravaged by COVID-19.
In a joint declaration, leaders committed "to keeping ASEAN’s markets open for trade and investment… with a view to ensuring food security".
They also pledged to cooperate to ensure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and diagnostic tools, as well as using "reserve warehouses to support the needs of ASEAN Member States in public health emergencies". - AFP