SINGAPORE: Singapore and New Zealand are committed to “maintaining open and connected supply chains” as part of collective efforts to combat COVID-19, said both countries in a joint ministerial statement on Friday (Mar 20).
“We will also work closely to identify and address trade disruptions with ramifications on the flow of necessities,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing and his New Zealand counterpart David Parker in the statement.
Acknowledging that COVID-19 is a “serious global crisis”, the leaders said: “We recognise that it is in our mutual interest to ensure that trade lines remain open, including via air and sea freight, to facilitate the flow of goods including essential supplies.”
They also affirmed the importance of refraining from the imposition of export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and of removing any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods during this time, especially medical supplies.
“We are committed to working with all like-minded countries to ensure that trade continues to flow unimpeded, and that critical infrastructure such as our air and seaports remain open to support the viability and integrity of supply chains globally,” the statement added.
Singapore reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the national tally to 385. New Zealand has 39 COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, New Zealand announced it would close its borders to all foreigners in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.