Food, essential items from New Zealand to land in Singapore under trade declaration

Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and medical instruments are among products covered under the trade declaration.
Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and medical instruments are among products covered under the trade declaration.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Food and other essential items will be landing in Singapore from New Zealand next week under a trade declaration launched yesterday.

Both nations have pledged to ensure the continued production and flow of essential items for combating the Covid-19 pandemic through their sea and air ports.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post that the declaration is a direct outcome of a joint ministerial statement among nine countries last month.

He added that he was looking forward to the shipment from New Zealand next week.

Details of the items are still being finalised, said a Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesman.

Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Laos, Myanmar and Uruguay had affirmed their commitment to keep trade lines open amid the Covid-19 crisis.

They highlighted the importance of not imposing export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and of removing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, because of the pandemic.

The countries will also identify and address trade disruptions that affect the supply of necessities.

Mr Chan said: "We welcome more countries to join us in pledging their commitment to keep supply chains open, connected and resilient."

He affirmed the strong ties that Singapore shares with New Zealand, which he called a close and like-minded partner of the Republic. The two countries also share close economic ties, he said.

Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and medical instruments such as syringes, catheters and ultrasonic scanning equipment are among products covered under the trade declaration.

The Government has emphasised the need for supply-chain resilience and credited the strategy of diversifying food sources as a way to help Singapore tide through the economic stressors brought by Covid-19.

Mr Chan in February spoke about the need to diversify Singapore's economy so that it is not overly dependent on one market or a particular industry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2020, with the headline 'Food, essential items from NZ to land here under trade declaration'. Subscribe