Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and medical instruments are some of the products included in the trade declaration. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE – Food and other important items will land in Singapore from New Zealand next week under a new trade declaration launched on Wednesday (April 15).

The two countries have pledged to ensure the production and flow of essential goods to combat the Covid-19 pandemic through sea and air ports.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post that the declaration was a direct result of a joint ministerial statement among nine countries last month.

He added that he was looking forward to shipping from New Zealand next week. Details of the goods are still being finalized, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Laos, Myanmar and Uruguay have reiterated their commitment to keep trade routes open amid the Covid-19 crisis.

They highlighted the importance of not imposing export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and to remove measures of trade restrictions on important goods, especially medical supplies, due to a pandemic.

These countries will also identify and overcome trade disruptions that affect supply needs.

Mr Chan said: “We welcome more countries to join us in pledging their commitment to keep supply chains open, connected and resilient.

He also stressed the strong ties Singapore has with New Zealand, which he called a Republican close and shared partner. The two countries also have close economic ties, he said.

Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and medical instruments such as syringes, catheters and ultrasonic scanning equipment are some of the products included in the trade declaration.

The government has stressed the need for supply chain resilience and praised the strategy of diversifying food sources as a way to help Singapore overcome the economic pressures brought by Covid-19.

Mr. Chan in February spoke of the need to diversify Singapore’s economy so that it does not depend too much on one particular market or industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said during a visit to a fish farm this month that Singapore had collaborated with countries to diversify its food sources, maintain national supplies, and continue to seek technology to improve local agricultural productivity.

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