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Policy Proposals  Asia and Oceania The 11th Asian Business Summit Joint Statement

On November 6, 2020, the 11th Asian Business Summit was held online with the participation of 14 business organizations representing 12 Asian Economies.

The global coronavirus pandemic has stifled business activities and created a set of extremely challenging conditions for the world economy. At this time, all members of the Asian business community should work closely and collaboratively with their governments and multilateral institutions to address and overcome these challenges. It was with this backdrop in mind that participants in the 11th Asian Business Summit gathered to discuss economic and industrial strategies for the current and post-pandemic eras as well as issues on regional cooperation in Asia.

The Summit began with a series of presentations by participating business organizations, which shared information on the status of the coronavirus pandemic in each economy and the countermeasures which their governments, business communities, and corporate sectors have implemented in response.

In the interest of protecting the lives, jobs, and livelihoods of their citizens, as well as their economies, we call on the governments of Asian economies to take prudent action aimed at balancing economic activities with measures to halt the expansion of the pandemic through the establishment of robust frameworks for the provision of needed medical care, stable delivery of medical supplies, and enhancement of support for businesses and workers. As members of the Asian business community, we are committed to assuming an active role, fully utilizing the resources at our command, and working together to achieve sustained business operations and employment levels as well as diversify and reinforce our supply chains.

It is imperative that we build from that foundation and transform the harsh realities of the current and post-pandemic eras into opportunities for further sustained growth. This Summit provided a forum to deepen our discussions on trade policy, infrastructure development, digitalization, environment, energy, and other issues confronting the Asian economy in the sphere of cooperation. As an outcome of that discussion, we arrived at a consensus on the importance of the following.

First, it is vital that we sustain and strengthen the free and open international economic system. To that end, efforts should be made to promote regional economic integration through early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and the expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It is necessary to re-establish and enhance connectivity within the region disrupted by the pandemic through both qualitative and quantitative advances in infrastructure development. Furthermore, we will need progress in digital transformation (DX) through data free flow with trust and other growth strategies adapted to the "new normal" as well as promotion of RD&D and finance on environmental and energy technologies aimed at transition to a decarbonized society. To address these challenges, we are committed to speeding up our efforts through cooperation and call for measures in inter- and intra-governmental coordination.

Moving forward, we will continue to utilize the Asian Business Summit platform to discuss the issues facing Asia in fostering sustainable development and facilitate realization of the "Society 5.0 for SDGs" concept.

Regional Affairs