Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto believes Indonesia is ready to face the humongous challenges posed by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by contributing through global collaboration with G20 countries.

The statement was delivered by the trade minister while participating in the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Ministerial Meeting on the COVID-19 global pandemic held on Monday (Mar 30) night, which was initiated by Saudi Arabia that assumed the G20 Presidency in 2020.

The Trade Ministerial Meeting resulted in an agreement on the significance of G20 to signal strong confidence in the global economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining the flow of goods and services, particularly the supply of vital medicines.

"This agreement is a rapid response from the G20 to the global COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring the smooth flow of goods and services through joint efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on international trade activities," the trade minister noted in a written statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Suparmanto expounded that this agreement was a follow-up to the mandate assigned by the G20 leaders at the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo had participated in the Virtual G20 Summit on the COVID-19 crisis on March 26, 2020.

G20 leaders have mandated the trade ministers to ensure the supply of medical equipment and basic agricultural products, maintain global supply chains, and avoid trade disruption.

The trade ministers were also urged to immediately evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of trade and create a free, fair, non-discriminatory, predictable, and stable climate of trade and investment and to continue to open markets.

The Government of Indonesia has made ongoing efforts to overcome the impact of the pandemic through fiscal and non-fiscal stimulus packages.

In the trade sector, policy relaxation is conducted to simplify and accelerate import and export activities, get rid of unnecessary trade barriers, and improve national logistics efficiency.

"The main aspect is to ensure a smooth flow of goods and services across borders, especially for vital medical supplies and important agricultural products. The Ministry of Trade, under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, is committed to launching the next stimulus package to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," he stated.

During this discussion, the trade minister conveyed the importance of global cooperation to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, given the interconnectedness and concurrently the current global economic vulnerabilities.

The leadership of the G20 in restoring confidence in the global economy and continuing international trade has become indispensable at this time.

"It must be admitted that the corona outbreak is a global challenge that is increasingly difficult to handle individually. We have no choice left but to collaborate globally," the trade minister stated. EDITED BY INE
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Reporter: Sella P, Azis K
Editor: Atman Ahdiat
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