The leaders also discussed ways to protect people’s interests and ease socio-economic impacts caused by the epidemic, and put forward a post-pandemic recovery plan.

The ASEAN+3 countries, including 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and three partner countries – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) - committed to standing ready to exchange experience, policies and epidemiological and clinical research, support each other with medical supplies and step up cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine and drug development.

At the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19 response (Photo: VNA)

The leaders shared a view that the lessons withdrawn from China, Japan and the RoK in containing and preventing the pandemic are useful for ASEAN in the combat.

People’s interests should be given the top priority, they said, stressing the need to ensure their health and livelihoods, and provide timely support and equal treatment for ASEAN+3 citizens affected by the epidemic, including migrant workers, so that no one is left behind.

They also pledged to maintain open markets, soon sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), diversify the connectivity of supply sources in and outside the region, and ensure the flows of goods and services, especially essential medical materials and products.

They agreed to assign the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) to study and propose policy recommendations to promptly respond to recession risks and optimise prevention mechanisms to keep the economic-financial situation and food security in ASEAN+3 stable in accordance with the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization agreement and the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc described solidarity and support among the countries as the key to overcoming this difficult time.

He also introduced Vietnam’s experience and initial results in containing the pandemic and protecting people’s lives, and thanked other countries for their coordination as well as technical and financial assistance to Vietnam over the past time.

The Vietnamese PM raised proposals to enhance ASEAN+3 cooperation in fighting COVID-19, and maintaining economic stability and development.

At the summit, the participating leaders heard a report of the ASEAN Secretary General on the bloc’s efforts in preventing and containing the pandemic, and the WHO Director General’s speech on the global pandemic situation and response of countries.

The leaders spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in organising the online summit, practically contributing to the common fight against the pandemic.

At the end of the summit, the leaders issued a joint statement of the Special ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19./.

CPV/VNA