PM: Asean and China should enhance cooperation in public health and pharmaceutical


PRIME Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) has called on Asean and China to enhance cooperation in public health and pharmaceutical capabilities through the sharing of technology, know-how and intellectual property to support regional vaccine production.

In congratulating China for producing Covid-19 vaccines that have assisted many countries in their fight against the pandemic, the PM said cooperation in this area would help Asean to enhance its public health systems and be more prepared and effective in handling future health emergencies.

“Malaysia values the close cooperation between Asean and China on the response towards the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes the many online fora to share information and provide training to health emergency professionals.

“Malaysia also appreciates China’s support and contribution to the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan,” Ismail Sabri said in his intervention at the 24th Asean-China Summit yesterday.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Brunei’s ruler Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in conjunction with the 38th and 39th Asean Summits and Related Summits.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang also joined the meeting. Cooperation between Asean and China could also be expanded into the areas of non-communicable diseases, mental health, as well as traditional and complementary medicines.

Towards building a digitally inclusive society, Ismail Sabri also urged Asean and China to immediately implement the Initiative on Building Asean-China Partnership on Digital Economy adopted at last year’s summit.

On South China Sea, the PM reiterated that matters relating to the sea must be resolved peacefully and constructively, including the 1982 United Convention on the Law of the Sea.

He said all countries should work together to ensure that the South China Sea remains a sea of peace, stability and trade.

“Malaysia’s position on the South China Sea is widely known. Nevertheless, Malaysia would like to reiterate that regional stability is of critical importance in these unprecedented times,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that Malaysia further looks forward to the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.