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Hammouri calls for balance in reopening economies, continuing virus fight at G20 meeting of trade ministers


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri on Sunday called for striking a balance between resuming economic activity and continuing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after the World Health Organisation has warned of a possible second wave of infections.
According to a Trade Ministry statement, Hammouri made these remarks during the second extraordinary meeting of trade and investment ministers of G20 countries, held through video conference, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The meeting came within the framework of Saudi Arabia's presidency of G20 meetings with the aim of discussing mechanisms to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate its consequences on international trade and investment to lay the foundations for global economic recovery, the statement said.
The minister stressed the need to ensure the flow of trade and increase industrial production by enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship to boost competitiveness and integration in regional and global value chains.
He said that Jordan is one of a few countries that has  managed to initiate an “early and successful” response to the pandemic, adding that this led to the reopening of economic sectors at “full productive capacity” as of last week, with the exception of a limited number of economic activities.
Hammouri pointed to the importance of ensuring that virus-related procedures at border crossings, including the testing of truck drivers, run smoothly so that public health and safety are protected and freight movement continues to supply markets with goods.
The meeting concluded with the attending ministers approving a set of measures to support international trade and investment. The measures focus on organising trade exchange, waiving restrictions on exports of agricultural products, facilitating international trade and exchanging expertise.
The meeting stressed the importance of supporting and reforming the multilateral trading system, building flexibility in global supply chains and exchanging information, which aims at expanding production and the trade of basic goods and services, including digital trade, Petra reported.
The ministers also pointed to the need for enhancing communication channels between the transport ministers of G20 countries to prioritise the flow of basic commodities in coordination with private sector institutions.

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