Lao PM: Asean should speed up buying medical supplies to treat Covid-19 patients

LAOS, Nov 13 (Vientiane Times/ANN): Addressing the Asean Summit, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said he greatly valued Asean’s achievements and Vietnam’s chairmanship during 2020.

He called for member countries to speed up efforts to acquire supplies to treat people with Covid-19 as well as vaccine, along with collaboration in economic promotion within the bloc.

Improved trade supply chain and assistance for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in obtaining financing and modern technology to help boost output was also of major importance, he said.

Other priorities should be digitalisation and improved supply chain for better connectivity through land, maritime and air transport, to accelerate the supply of consumer goods.

As part of the summit, Asean leaders witnessed the official release of the Midterm Review of Asean Community Vision 2025 Blueprint and the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan, as well as the launch of the Asean Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies.

Six key documents were adopted at the summit, including the Hanoi Declaration on Asean Community Beyond 2025, Hanoi Declaration on Adoption of the Initiative for Asean Integration’s Fourth Work Plan (2021-2025), Asean Declaration on digital tourism and upholding Asean identity, and the Hanoi Declaration on strengthening social protection towards a cohesive and responsive Asean Community.

The 23rd Asean-China Summit, 23rd Asean-Japan Summit, 21st Asean-ROK Summit and 17th Asean-India Summit also took place virtually on the same day.

Asean and Chinese leaders said they highly valued the achievements of Asean-China cooperation and pledged to continue cooperation by adopting the new Asean-China work plan for 2021-2025.

The meeting expressed satisfaction with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Asean and in China, and thanked China for its contribution to the Covid-19 Asean Response Fund and support for the Asean-China health cooperation project.

Laos asked China to continue its assistance in building a digital economy by supporting technology and innovation in the fields of finance, banking, and building the capacity of MSMEs.

At the Asean-Japan Summit, Asean leaders thanked Japan for its contribution to the Covid-19 Asean Response Fund and for financing the establishment of the Asean Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

The two sides agreed to continue cooperation towards regional assimilation through the Initiative for Asean Integration, as well as digitalisation.

Asean leaders and leaders of the Republic of Korea confirmed their commitment to future cooperation, especially in the health sector with a focus on Covid-19. They also agreed to stronger partnerships in education, digitalised economy and innovation, Asean connectivity, narrowing of the development gap in Asean, tourism, sustainable development, food security, and the development of smart cities.

Asean and Indian leaders agreed to continue cooperation in the health sector, especially in sharing information and best experiences in handling to Covid-19, including cooperation in the research, development and production of drugs and a vaccine to treat Covid-19, and their affordability and access for all.

They also agreed on cooperation in post Covid-19 economic restoration, exchanges in culture and tourism, economic digitalisation, and Asean connectivity, especially the building of the India-Thailand-Myanmar expressway and its expansion into Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

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Asean , Thongloun Sisoulith , Covid-19 , vaccine


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