APEC to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine trade

Ministers responsible for trade of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation have agreed to facilitate the production and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

The trade ministers of 21 member economies held an online meeting on Saturday.

In a joint statement and annexed documents adopted at the meeting, the ministers said they recognized extensive COVID-19 immunization as a global public good, and they urgently need to accelerate the production and distribution of safe and affordable vaccines.

The ministers agreed to expedite the flow and transit of vaccines through air, sea, and land ports as well as their release upon arrival.

They also agreed to remove unnecessary trade barriers, such as export restrictions, and introduce measures to prevent the entry and import of counterfeit coronavirus vaccines.