President Rodrigo Roa Duterte participated in the First Virtual APEC 2020 Leaders’ Meeting where he stated that COVID-19 is a defining challenge as economies have to be re-opened while protecting and helping people adjust to the New Normal.
The President cited key areas where the international community can work together:
- APEC economies have to ensure the unimpeded flow of medical supplies and technologies especially COVID-19 vaccines as there is a need to strengthen partnerships to make vaccines a global public good. As President Duterte pointed out, “We have to defeat the virus everywhere or no one is safe.” The President mentioned several modalities that are available, which include bilateral and multilateral cooperation and tripartite arrangements between the government and private sector and the multilateral financial institutions.
- Information is the key to effective response and mitigation efforts.
- There is a need to keep trade free, open and fair as key to achieving sustained and inclusive economic recovery, where APEC will play an important role.
Finally, President Duterte mentioned the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which reaffirms support for every rules-based multilateral trading system to build back better, healthier and more prosperous societies.