At Apec meeting, Malaysia proposes mechanism for regional travel, says PM

The premier stressed the need to see greater vaccine multilateralism through closer cooperation in distribution and recognition. — Picture from Facebook/Ismail Sabri Yaakob
The premier stressed the need to see greater vaccine multilateralism through closer cooperation in distribution and recognition. — Picture from Facebook/Ismail Sabri Yaakob

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — Malaysia has proposed for the development of an “appropriate regulatory coherent mechanism to facilitate safe, convenient and seamless travel at the regional level,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

Urging the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) to work on the effort collectively, Ismail Sabri said the reopening of international borders would “certainly spur travel and tourism sectors, which are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and this would, in turn, drive economic recovery.”

“On this note, I am pleased to share that fully vaccinated Malaysians have started travelling abroad since last month, while international tourists are allowed to visit Malaysia under strict adherence to safety measures that have been put in place,” he said in his speech at the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) today. 

“As a start in fully reopening our international border, I am proud to share that effective November 29, a Vaccinated Travel Lane between Malaysia and Singapore will be implemented. Malaysia is also in the midst of implementing a Travel Corridor Arrangement with Indonesia.”

The premier also stressed the need to see greater vaccine multilateralism through closer cooperation in distribution and recognition. He noted that effective management of the pandemic requires fair, equitable and affordable vaccines for all and this is imperative to ensure that no economy is left behind.

He pointed out that vaccine multilateralism is essential to lend firm support in the collective fight against the pandemic and provide what is necessary for a sustainable recovery.

“Trade policy is central to this and facilitative measures are required to support the region’s efforts to address the impediments,” he added.

“Hence, the joint statement by our trade ministers in June this year is of utmost importance to identify and consider removing unnecessary barriers to trade, particularly those that expedite and facilitate flow of the vaccine supply chain.”

The prime minister also called for an end to vaccine discrimination, in addition to improved access to vaccines.

“And in this vein, Malaysia continues to approve all vaccines greenlit by the World Health Organisation. As the freedom of movement is crucial for the full realisation of economic recovery, Malaysia urges Apec to develop mutual recognition of vaccine certificate among member economies,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said digitalisation and green growth are the paths for a sustainable and resilient future in the region.

“Innovative solutions borne out of necessity, has to a large extent, contributed to businesses’ survival, job preservation, new opportunities for informal groups and hastened the progress of the gig economy.

“More importantly, while we are in the pursuit of digital innovation at an exceptional pace, we should not lose track of the environmental, social, and governance agenda to achieve a more vibrant and sustainable economic environment in our region,” he added. — Bernama

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