Coronavirus pandemic

Singapore, China will ensure free flow of goods

Singapore and China have reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining supply-chain connectivity between both countries, ensuring the free flow of goods - especially medical supplies - during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said this in a Facebook post yesterday, adding that he had met Chinese Minister for Commerce Zhong Shan earlier in the day via teleconference.

During the meeting, they also discussed how both countries could work together to overcome the health, economic and financial challenges faced by the region.

"Singapore and China are important economic partners, and it is more critical now than ever for us to work closely together to emerge stronger from this crisis," Mr Chan said in his post.

On Wednesday, top foreign ministry officials from Singapore and China made a commitment at a "virtual meeting" to keep their borders open to ensure the smooth movement of essential goods and personnel, while safeguarding public health, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Education, trade and industry, Customs and immigration, transport, health and manpower officials also attended the meeting, which was co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of Singapore's foreign ministry, Mr Chee Wee Kiong, and Vice-Minister Luo Zhaohui from China's Foreign Ministry.

Both sides also exchanged views on the impact of Covid-19 at the regional level and agreed to explore ways to provide support where necessary to regional countries on epidemic prevention and control.

They called on countries around the world to work together to address this transboundary threat.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore, China will ensure free flow of goods'. Print Edition | Subscribe