Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (Source: VNA)
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said on January 21 that the decision was made at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat (AMM Retreat) which was held as an online meeting on the same day.
The task force is expected to complete the work in the first quarter of 2021, Retno said.
The establishment of a travel corridor among Southeast Asian countries was firstly proposed by Indonesia at the 36th ASEAN Summit in June 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated the regional economy.
This initiative will create favorable conditions for important economic and business actors, and thus it is expected to revive regional economic activities without neglecting health aspect.
The initiative was welcomed by all ASEAN member countries and supported by ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi.
Lim evaluated the travel corridor as one of the efforts to ensure that the Southeast Asian market remains open during the pandemic, which is a key factor to accelerate the economic recovery in ASEAN member countries.
In addition to agreeing on travel corridor arrangements, ASEAN has received nearly 13.6 million USD from the reallocation of cooperation funds from ASEAN and its partner countries committed to contribute to the bloc’s COVID-19 response fund. The money will be used to fund the bloc’s efforts to cope with the pandemic./.VNA