KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 -- The 19th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting, held as part of the virtual 37th ASEAN Summit, will concentrate on promoting the region's post-pandemic economic recovery through digitalisation.
Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said through the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its implementation plan, ASEAN had established several main strategies, one of which is "Accelerating Inclusive Digital Transformation" to combat the severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The strategy focuses on expediting the digital transformation in the region by leveraging on the momentum and imperative of digital transformation and seizing the enormous opportunities presented by digital technologies to boost the economy and improve society post-COVID-19.
“This includes the digitalisation of trade documents and processes for a seamless and uninterrupted supply chain,” he said in a statement today.
Mohamed Azmin also said that the region’s economic recovery post-pandemic was high on the agenda and was discussed extensively at both the ASEAN Leaders and the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ level.
“The discussions resulted in the inking of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Implementation of Non-Tariff Measures on Essential Goods on Nov 10, 2020,” he added.
The MoU, comprising 152 identified essential goods in the categories of food, medicine, and medical appliances and devices, is aimed at facilitating the movement of essential goods to ensure unobstructed supply chain within the region.
Mohamed Azmin represented Malaysia during the signing of the MoU, which marked the furtherance of the previously endorsed Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“This MoU is also reflective of ASEAN’s determination to preserve centrality and solidarity, as well as to boost efforts to expedite the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19,” he added.
The 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings were held virtually from Nov 9-15, 2020, bringing together top leadership from the ASEAN member states in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 10 ASEAN member states and five other ASEAN-FTA (free trade agreement) partners namely China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand today signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, thus concluding eight years of discussions.
Malaysian National News Agency
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