28 July 2020
On 2 July 2020, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced the addition of new members to the Joint Ministerial Statement on Ensuring Supply Chain Connectivity (“Statement”). Nauru, the United Arab Emirates and the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) have recently joined the Statement, with the PRC being the most recent. The total number of countries on board with the Statement now numbers 12, namely, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Nauru, PRC, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
The Statement sets out these countries’ collective commitment to ensure the continuity and interconnectivity of supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Statement recognises that it is in the countries’ mutual interest to ensure that trade lines remain open, including via air and sea freight, to facilitate the flow of goods including essential supplies. It also affirms the importance of refraining from the imposition of export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers and or removing existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods.