‘APAC needs safe reopening of borders for businesses’
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Business Advisory Council held in a hybrid format at Resorts World Sentosa, Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore, said that safe reopening of borders is needed in the region for businesses to reconnect with the world and underpin economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Ovais Shubani for The Straits Times.
“Business transactions can take place virtually, but nothing can replace in-person interactions to build relationships and trust,” he said.
The four-day meeting of the council, Abac, the private-sector arm of the 21-member Apec, is hosted by Singapore.
Abac’s mandate is to advise government leaders and Apec officials on issues of interest to the business community. Beyond Asia, Apec members include the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru.
Gan said, “As the voice of enterprises, Abac has the unique capability to influence and lead many positive changes in the integration of Apec economies.”
Gan said Singapore supports work on this front, including discussions on simplifying health protocols and mutual recognition of health certificates. “While Covid-19 remains unpredictable, we must find a way to live with the virus, especially with vaccination,” he said.
This approach has allowed Singapore to continue the journey of reopening our borders in a safe and calibrated manner to facilitate international travels,” he added, referring to the introduction of quarantine-free vaccinated travel lanes.
“This will help further broaden our travel network and strengthen our connectivity with the rest of the world.”
(Source: The Straits Times)