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APEC ministers pledge support for recovery and seek to halt subsidies to fisheries and agriculture

The Ministers of Trade and Foreign Affairs of the Pacific Rim pledged to maintain recovery measures from the coronavirus pandemic and to continue talks to curb subsidies to fisheries and agriculture at an upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization ( WTO).

The ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries affirmed in a statement issued after a virtual meeting that there were great divergences in the recovery between and within economies and that downside risks continued to exist.

We need to sustain our economic recovery through continued political support measures, while preserving financial stability and long-term fiscal sustainability.”Said the ministers.

They also said that they would facilitate the trade of a wider range of medical supplies to fight COVID-19 and that they would work voluntarily to reduce the cost of vaccines and related products.

The group pledged to support WTO negotiations on a temporary exemption from intellectual property protection for COVID-19 vaccines.

With many economies in the region dependent on tourism, APEC ministers said they would work to ensure travel safety in the region, with “tangible results in 2022″.

We must continue to pave the way for the resumption of cross-border travel, without undermining efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.″ Said the ministers.

The trade-focused group said officials would work to foster a favorable trade and investment environment and “ensure that our trade and investment environment is free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable.”

We reaffirm our commitment to keeping markets open and dealing with supply chain disruptions, thereby fostering mutually beneficial business relationships and reducing trade tensions.”Says the statement.

APEC ministers said they would participate constructively in the 12th WTO Ministerial Meeting (MC12), to be held at the end of November, to modernize trade rules and achieve concrete results. They asked WTO countries to negotiate effective limits on harmful fisheries subsidies at the Geneva meeting.

We recognize the need to achieve a meaningful agricultural outcome in MC12, reflecting our collective interests and sensibilities, with a view to achieving substantial phase-ins in support and protection”, In line with previous WTO mandates, the ministers said.


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