Trade ministers from G20 major economies agreed on Monday to keep their markets open and to ensure continued flow of vital medicines as well as other essential goods to tackle Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, the G20 ministers pledged to inject USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the pandemic amid forecasts of deep recession.

In a joint statement issued after the video conference, the ministers agreed to support the availability and accessibility of essential medical supplies at affordable prices, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and will guard against profiteering and unjustified price increases.

The ministers also agreed that the emergency measures should be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary while sticking to the rules of World Trade Organisation and not creating the unnecessary boundaries of trade. They also discussed and agreed to keep aside the profiteering and unjustified price increase.

“As we fight the pandemic both individually and collectively and seek to mitigate its impacts on international trade and investment, we will continue to work together to deliver a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.”

“We are actively working to ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies and equipment, critical agricultural products, and other essential goods and services across borders, for supporting the health of our citizens,” the statement said.

The ministers stated that they will take immediate necessary measures to facilitate trade in those essential goods.

They also vowed to implement those measures, upholding the principle of international solidarity, considering the evolving needs of other countries for emergency supplies and humanitarian assistance.

“We will ensure smooth and continued operation of the logistics networks that serve as the backbone of global supply chains. We will explore ways for logistics networks via air, sea and land freight to remain open, as well as ways to facilitate essential movement of health personnel and business people across borders, without undermining the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus,” they said in the statement.

It added that the countries will continue monitoring and assessing the impact of the pandemic on trade.

They also called upon the international organizations to provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on world trade, investment and global value chains.

“We will continue working with them to establish coordinated approaches and collect and share good practices to facilitate flows of essential goods and services,” the statement added.

The G20 is a grouping of developed and developing countries. Its members include India, the US, Italy, France, China, Japan and Turkey.