Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius: EU citizens’ health cannot depend on trade restrictions
On 9 June, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius took part in an informal video conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers (Trade), which focused on implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for trade policy and the role of the World Trade Organization.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the EU's dependence on a single supplier country makes it vulnerable not only economically, but also politically. Therefore, it is important to search for solutions that will help prevent such situations. It is unthinkable that the EU citizens’ health or even lives could depend on trade restrictions ", said the Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius.
Trade Ministers agreed that an open and fair global trade system could contribute to the diversification of supply chains and help ensure a continuous flow of goods and services. This would help reduce the EU’s economic dependency, especially in the pharmaceutical and raw chemical materials sectors. Lithuania’s representative highlighted the importance of assessing economic dependence also in other sectors, such as IT or renewable energy.
The Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius stressed that equal and fair global competitive conditions were among key elements of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, we need the EU to wield a leadership role within the WTO in developing global rules that would essentially address the issue of state interference in the economy.