The Executive Yuan Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) said that Taiwan on Saturday participated in a virtual meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers to discuss the importance of a free and open trade and investment environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan was represented by Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio John Deng at the meeting, which was attended by all 21 members of APEC including the U.S. and Japan. Minister Deng highlighted Taiwan's outstanding achievements during the pandemic, such as its ability to maintain an economic growth rate of 1.6 percent despite the virus's global spread. The nation avoided locking down cities or suspending work and schools so that businesses could largely continue operating in an orderly fashion. Taiwan was even able to extend generous assistance to the world community, the OTN said.
Additionally, Minister Deng shared on the government's rollout of guidance and stimulus measures that provided needed assistance to workers, corporations, and small and medium-sized enterprises, the office said.
Taiwan also called on other APEC members facing pandemic-related challenges to take the following measures:
1. Nations should maintain the flow of important goods and avoid disruptions to supply chains.
2. Any emergency trade restrictions should be related to the pandemic, with a clearly defined scope of application. The restrictions should also be transparent, non-discriminatory and temporary in principle, and should comply with World Trade Organization rules.
3. The flow of essential goods, services and people should be maintained.
4. When a nation voluntarily reduces custom tariffs, it should also take care to balance the rights and obligations of all parties involved.
5. More research and development should be devoted to prevent disruptions and increase the resilience of supply chains.
During the virtual meeting, the primary topic of concern for many nations was the flow of essential goods and materials required for disease prevention. Minister Deng said Taiwan is more than willing to talk and cooperate with other nations and will work to tackle any future obstacles together, the OTN said.