A “travel bubble” between China and Asean countries will help revive the tourism industry, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in outlining strategies to resuscitate the economy which had been impacted by the pandemic.
With China being an important partner of Asean, there could be common initiatives on the travel bubble and quarantine arrangements that can be explored between the two, he said.
“By doing this, we will be in a much better position to revive not only the tourism industry but also our people-to-people connectivity,” he said in his address at the 18th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO).
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in border tightening, he said, with travel still being regarded as a high-risk activity.
“It is heartening that Asean is actively developing a travel corridor framework to facilitate cross-border trade and investments.
“This, in turn, will set the region on a steady path for economic recovery and growth.”
Ismail said mutual recognition of vaccination certification documents is another fertile area for collaboration.
He went on to say that it was imperative for Asean and China to intensify efforts on both the trade and investment fronts to help the region weather the crisis.
China and Asean, he said, must strive to keep the supply chain connectivity uninterrupted, and facilitate the movement of essential goods and services.
“By removing unnecessary barriers to trade, and by rolling back on new restrictive trade measures, we will be bringing ourselves closer to pre-pandemic economic growth rates.”
He said the collaboration between the two had resulted in them becoming the largest trading partners for each other last year.
Ismail said the collaboration was even more critical for the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of Malaysia’s economy.
“It is timely for both Asean and China to promote cooperation in digital economy partnership, thus facilitating the acceleration of technology adoption among SMEs.”
He also said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) must be strengthened as it was an essential tool for the economic revival of Asean and China.
Ismail said while Asean and China had achieved success through collaboration, much more could still be done.
- TAGS / KEYWORDS: