|President Moon Jae-in takes part in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held online Friday. Yonhap|
President Moon Jae-in took part in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held online Friday and suggested that member states continue to allow essential cross-border travel, especially by businesspeople, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also emphasized the importance of free trade and inclusive growth to prevent the ongoing global crisis from leading to the worsening of inequality.
"South Korea is minimizing economic shocks, while continuing exchanges instead of blocking the border even in the midst of the coronavirus," Moon said.
The President called for the strengthening of the multilateral trade system to advance an economic recovery in the region, speaking in the session joined by the leaders of 20 other Asia-Pacific nations. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were among the participants.
Moon proposed that the APEC members make more efforts to map out ways for "inclusive cooperation" to pull off "inclusive" economic recovery without deepening inequality.
He said it was necessary to explore a "balanced combination" of digital and green economies. Moon's administration has been pushing for a so-called Korean version of the New Deal aimed at promoting economic development by expanding Korea's digital infrastructure and fostering environment-friendly businesses.
This year's virtual APEC summit was hosted by Malaysia.
The APEC leaders adopted a statement called "APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040."
"Our Vision is an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations," it read.
It added, "To ensure that the Asia-Pacific remains the world's most dynamic and interconnected regional economy, we acknowledge the importance of, and will continue to work together to deliver, a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment."
APEC member economies account for around 60 percent of the world's total GDP. (Yonhap)