China joins Singapore-New Zealand initiative to keep supply chains open

China is the 12th nation to ink the statement. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - China has pledged to uphold trade and supply chain connections during the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore's Ministry for Trade and Industry said on Thursday (July 2).

The commitment to maintain cross-border flows of necessities was launched by Singapore and New Zealand in March. Since then several nations from across the world have joined the pact.

China is the 12th nation to ink the statement.

Other signatories include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Laos, Myanmar, Nauru, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

The statement recognises that maintaining supply chains and trade flows amid disruptions caused by the pandemic is critical in enabling countries to emerge from the crisis stronger.

Signatories commit to refrain from imposing export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers and to remove existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, during the virus outbreak.

Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said; "We are encouraged that 12 countries are now on board. It sends a strong signal of our collective commitment to ensure the continuity and interconnectivity of supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic."

He added that Singapore along with other signatories to the pact would welcome other like-minded nations to join.

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