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SBF Lauds the Timely Launch of the Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic


Friday, 17 April 2020 [Singapore] The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) lauds the Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic (The Declaration), jointly launched by Singapore and New Zealand on 15 April 2020. The commitment by both countries to ensure supply chain connectivity and remove trade barriers in a concerted effort to overcome the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19 is highly encouraging.

The Declaration is a concrete step that follows the Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS) on Supply Chain Connectivity, which Singapore and New Zealand first issued last month and has since seen seven other countries1 pledge their commitment to keep supply chains open amidst the pandemic. By eliminating duties, removing export restrictions, and addressing technical barriers to the trade of essential items like medical products and food items, the Declaration not only eases businesses’ supply chain risks but also ensures that critical supplies remain cost-effective and accessible.

SBF CEO, Mr Ho Meng Kit said, “A global crisis calls for a globally coordinated response. Now more than ever, it is critical for countries to keep their supply chains open and facilitate the ease of trading essential goods and services so that they may reach communities that need them most.

“SBF will work with the international business community to call on governments, particularly the other JMS members and countries in the region, to join the Declaration. In the longer term, we look forward to the Declaration being expanded into a regional or multilateral agreement that will serve as the basis for international trade cooperation to address global health and economic challenges.”

1 The Joint Ministerial Statement on Supply Chain Connectivity was issued by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Lao PDR, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore and Uruguay.

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