East Asia Summit economic ministers discuss post-COVID growth

Economic ministers have stressed the importance of further strengthening regional economic cooperation and accelerating post-COVID economic growth at the eighth East Asia Summit (EAS) ministerial meeting.

The meeting was held on Friday evening via video conference and attended by economic ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

The ministers exchanged views on efforts to maintain supply chains and market stability, and strengthen the post-epidemic economic resilience of the EAS region, calling for initiatives that will “expedite a sustainable economic recovery and resilience,” according to a joint media statement of the meeting.

They discussed enhancing the application and utilization of digital technologies in the region to facilitate the digital economy, affirming that it is “especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the statement.

Resolving to take actions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impacts, the ministers underscored the importance of strengthening regional supply chains to make them resilient to shocks and advance sustainable economic growth, the statement said.

They reaffirmed their commitment to promote trade and investment, minimize disruptions to trade and global supply chains, and facilitate supply chain connectivity, it said.

The ministers also reiterated their support for the necessary reform of the WTO, saying they will continue to work together to realize a free, fair, transparent, non-discriminatory, predictable, and stable trade environment, according to the statement.