Senior official of Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry Hairil Yahri Yaacob (Source: berita.mcoba.org)

The meeting was chaired by Hairil Yahri Yaacob, a senior official from Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry.

He urged participating economies to prioritise the undisputed flow of essential goods and services across the region.

The official said this was key to ensuring member economies are able to rebound following the wide-ranging economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Necessary lockdowns and social distancing have been or are still in place region-wide to keep the pandemic from spreading, but the resulting economic slowdown has the potential to cause long-term harms to the lives and livelihoods of millions more, he said.

He called the members to exchange views, review their response to the crisis and formulate a possible coordinated approach to collecting and sharing information on policies and measures regarding COVID-19 and its economic effects.

Malaysia is slated to host the APEC Summit in November.

APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific, with 21 members./.

CPV/VNA