S'pore to contribute S$7.9 million worth of medical supplies to Asean's regional reserve

S'pore is also expanding its vaccine manufacturing capabilities, with three new vaccine production facilities in the pipeline.

Faris Alfiq | October 26, 2021, 02:39 PM

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PM Lee Hsien Loong said on Oct. 26, that Singapore will be contributing S$7.9 million worth of medical supplies to the Asean Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies to support Asean's collective effort to prepare for future public health emergencies.

He added that Singapore stands ready to work with Asean member states to ensure the swift and equitable distribution of vaccines within the region.

Virtual Asean Summit

PM Lee was speaking at the 38th Asean Summit conducted virtually, hosted by Brunei from Oct. 26 to 28, themed "We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper".

As co-chair of the Friends of the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, he said that Singapore is "strongly committed to vaccine multilateralism and fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries".

"Singapore has donated our vaccine allocation through the COVAX Facility to other countries," he added, and said that Singapore welcomed Asean's decision to use the Covid-19 Asean Response fund to purchase vaccines.

Singapore will contribute its allocation to other Asean member states and the Asean Secretariat.

Singapore is also ramping up its cold chain logistics services and expanding its vaccine manufacturing capabilities, with three new vaccine production facilities in the pipeline.

Reopening economy and resuming safe travel important in 'living with Covid-19'

On economic integration, PM Lee said that ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will boost confidence in regional trade and investment and contribute significantly towards the region's post-pandemic economic recovery.

"I look forward to the swift ratification of the RCEP by all Asean member states and partners, for the agreement to enter into force by January 2022 as planned," he added.

An important aspect of "living with Covid-19", according to PM Lee, is progressively reopening Asean's economies and resuming safe travel.

"We welcome the adoption of the Asean Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework, and the development of interoperable digital solutions to enable travel to resume safely," PM Lee said.

He added that "the development of digital health certificates for proof of testing and vaccination, and further progress on the mutual recognition of such certificates" facilitates travel.

Cooperation in digitalisation

PM Lee also touched on strengthening cooperation in new growth areas such and digitalisation and the use of ICTs (Information and Communications Technology).

He said that Covid-19 had accelerated digital transformation in business and society, and Asean should exploit existing mechanisms such as the Asean Smart Cities Network to share experiences and best practices on using technologies to build a more sustainable future together.

"Relying more on technology also means we need more robust cybersecurity measures," PM Lee said.

Strengthening regional cyber resilience can be done through protecting Critical Information Infrastructure protection and conducting capacity-building programmes, including through the Asean-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence.

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Top image via Ministry of Communications and Information.