MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called for closer international cooperation to step up the Asia-Pacific region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte, during the virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting 2021, said structural and artificial restraints in the global economy are exacerbating uneven pandemic recovery among countries as much as weak domestic systems.
“Closer international cooperation is needed to address these constraints and to ensure that all countries recover from this crisis,” he said.
Duterte called for APEC members to improve risk management systems, better response and mitigation measures, and stronger support mechanisms for vulnerable communities.
These include creation of an integrated system on vaccine passport validation and contact tracing, institutionalization of social protection for non-traditional forms of employment, and promotion of transnational education and digital inclusion in APEC economies, he said.
Ministers from the 21-nation group earlier agreed that free trade and open economies will drive the region's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
APEC's meeting on Wednesday highlighted a plan to voluntarily freeze fossil fuel subsidies and commitments to liberalize tariffs on vaccines and other pandemic medical supplies.
APEC economies collectively account for almost 40 percent of the world's population and around 60 percent of the global economy.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse