China joins S'pore-NZ initiative to keep supply chains open

Container ships at the port of Wuhan. China is the 12th country to sign a pact launched by Singapore and New Zealand to uphold trade connections during the pandemic. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Container ships at the port of Wuhan. China is the 12th country to sign a pact launched by Singapore and New Zealand to uphold trade connections during the pandemic. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Container ships at the port of Wuhan. China is the 12th country to sign a pact launched by Singapore and New Zealand to uphold trade connections during the pandemic. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER CHAN CHUN SING

All 12 signatories will work with like-minded nations to ensure unimpeded trade flows

China has pledged to uphold trade and supply chain connections during the coronavirus pandemic.

The commitment to maintaining 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, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday.

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 refraining from imposing export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and to removing 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, would welcome other like-minded nations to join the pact.

Signatories of the joint statement have committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains as part of their collective response to combat Covid-19.

They will also work closely to address trade disruptions that could affect the flow of necessities.

The 12 nations have pledged to work with all like-minded countries to ensure that trade continues to flow unimpeded.

COLLECTIVE COMMITMENT

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.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER CHAN CHUN SING, after China became the 12th nation to ink the pledge to maintain cross-border flows of necessities.

They will also ensure that critical infrastructure, such as air and seaports, remains open to support the viability and integrity of supply chains globally.

While Singapore imposed a strict circuit breaker for nearly two months, production lines were kept open for global supply chains, including those providing critical materials for surgical masks and other medical supplies.

The country is one of the world's largest production hubs of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Singapore started to ease its circuit breaker measures after June 1.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2020, with the headline 'China joins S'pore-NZ initiative to keep supply chains open'. Print Edition | Subscribe