Ministers from a regional organization are set to discuss a proposal on Saturday by New Zealand that would speed up the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are expected to propose to discuss the lifting of tariffs on COVID-19 vaccines and related medical products, although some members view the plan as too ambitious.
A source familiar with the talks told Reuters that host New Zealand wanted the group’s 21 member states to agree on “best practice guidelines” for the cross-border movement of vaccines and related medical products, in a move that could reduce delays in getting vaccines to people. On a larger scale.
New Zealand believes that an agreement is needed to show that APEC is a responsible and active player in the crisis facing the world.
The average tariff on vaccines in APEC is as low as about 0.8 percent, but other important goods in the vaccine supply chain have higher tariffs.