New Zealand works closely with Singapore to maintain key supply

A man, wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 (coronavirus), walking around his neighbourhood in Singapore on Saturday (March 21). - AFP

WELLINGTON: New Zealand and Singapore signed a joint ministerial statement on Saturday (March 21) pledging to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The joint statement was signed by New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker and Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

"The Covid-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.

"As part of our collective response to combat the virus, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We will also work closely to identify and address trade disruptions with ramifications on the flow of necessities," said the joint statement.

"It is in our mutual interest to ensure trade lines remain open, including via air and sea freight, to facilitate the flow of goods including essential supplies," said Parker.

New Zealand closed its borders to non-residents from 11.59pm local time on Thursday in a bid to control the virus outbreak.

Air New Zealand has cut 85% of its long haul services, due to the travel restrictions.

However, New Zealand government has assured the public that essential goods supply will not be disrupted.

There are currently 52 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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