BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ASEAN Plus Three or APT) should strengthen cooperation in combating COVID-19 and promoting economic development, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said Thursday.
China is willing to share anti-epidemic experiences with countries in the region and will continue to support their commercial purchase of medical supplies in China, Zhong said at a video conference on COVID-19 control attended by ASEAN Plus Three trade and investment ministers.
Countries in the region should step up trade and investment cooperation, stabilize and enhance regional industrial and supply chains and maintain smooth flow of people and logistics to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and restore regional economic growth at an early date, Zhong said.
He also called on the countries to deepen regional economic integration and implement the consensus of the special summit of ASEAN Plus Three held in April on striving to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership this year.
The parties agreed that deepening anti-epidemic and economic cooperation is of great importance to promoting regional economic integration and joint efforts should be taken to fight against the disease, stabilize regional industrial and supply chains and preserve a free, stable and fair trade and investment environment.
It was also agreed that the parties should keep markets open, safeguard multilateral trade system, and enhance collaboration in trade and investment.
The meeting was chaired by Vietnam, which holds the ASEAN presidency. After the meeting, a statement on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on economy was issued.