The Business Times

Singapore to donate Covax allocation to other countries: PM Lee

Janice Heng
Published Fri, Jul 16, 2021 · 10:23 PM

SINGAPORE plans to donate its vaccine allocation under the multinational Covax initiative to other countries, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Informal Leaders' Retreat on Friday night.

Within the region, Apec economies should support one another in the current and future pandemics, he said. Besides technical assistance to strengthen national public health capabilities, for example, "countries whose vaccination programmes are ahead should make their excess vaccine supplies available to others", he added.

"Thus, Singapore intends to donate our vaccines under the Covax initiative to other countries." The Covax vaccine sharing programme provides access to vaccines for middle-income and poorer countries.

Pandemic preparation was one of three areas of collaboration on which Mr Lee spoke.

"Covid-19 will not be the last, nor the most serious pandemic the world will face," he said, noting that the G-20 High Level Independent Panel highlighted in a recent report that pandemic security requires multilateralism to be strengthened. This includes a scaled-up global surveillance system for emerging outbreaks of infectious disease.

A second area of collaboration is trade. Apec members should take the lead to reconnect economies and pursue trade liberalisation, as well as to restart international travel safely by developing common standards for digital vaccine certificates and digital identities, he said.

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Finally, Apec should cooperate on new areas of economic growth, such as the digital economy and the green economy.

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