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Full text of President Moon Jae-in's remarks at G-20 summit

All News 00:03 March 27, 2020

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- The following is an unofficial translation of President Moon Jae-in's remarks during the G-20 2020 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders Summit. It was provided by his office, Cheong Wa Dae.

I would like to first begin by thanking Mr. Chair for his leadership in convening the Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit today.

The effects of COVID-19 have posed a serious threat to global healthcare systems, and have severely contracted the global real economy and financial markets.

Yet, we do have the experience of having surmounted the 2008 global financial crisis. And, with G20 members united in solidarity, I am confident that we shall prevail over these difficult times.

Over the last 2 months, Korea has been at the center of the COVID-19 challenge. The time is never right for complacency, yet preemptive and transparent quarantine measures, combined with the public's voluntary and democratic participation in such efforts, are bringing gradual stability.

Since the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, my administration has adhered to the three principles of openness, transparency and democracy in its response.

We identified new cases by conducting an overwhelming number of tests, and have meticulously tracked down transmission pathways.

Moreover, confirmed cases and their close contacts were all placed in isolation and banned from travelling abroad.

Doing so, we believed, was the best way to curb the spread of infection and reduce the loss of lives.

In this process, all creative tools at our disposal have been mobilized.

Highly accurate diagnostic reagents that enable quick tests were developed at an early stage.

For swift and timely testing and infection prevention, 'drive-through' testing sites were set up.

Also, an IT-enabled 'self-quarantine app' and a 'self-diagnosis app' were deployed to closely monitor those under self-isolation.

Furthermore, in accordance with the WHO's recommendation, we minimized restriction on cross-border movements of people and goods while undertaking measures to maximize the impact of quarantine through "special entry procedures".

We have not imposed a total restriction on inbound travelers from abroad, but for those travelling from countries with large-scale outbreaks, regardless of their nationalities, we perform comprehensive tests from the point of arrival to contain the inflow of infectious agents from abroad and also to protect the travelers themselves.

Taking it a step further, all relevant information has been made available at home and abroad in a speedy and transparent manner.

The number of new confirmed cases and tests conducted, geographical distribution as well as all other epidemiological information are being updated and released on a daily basis.

Korea remains committed to continuously improving and refining quarantine measures and seeks to share our successful response model with the international community.

To ensure that COVID-19 does not lead to serious contractions in consumption, investment and industrial activities, the Korean government is implementing bold expansionary macroeconomic policies and financial stabilization measures totaling 100 billion US dollars (132 trillion won).

First, in order to relieve the burden on affected businesses, micro-business owners and the self-employed, as well as to boost consumption, we prepared an assistance package worth 26 billion USD.

Second, in an effort to support businesses faced with a liquidity shortage due to COVID-19, we are providing emergency funding of 80 billion US dollars (100 trillion won). We did this because businesses must survive in order for our people to keep their jobs, and these jobs must be secured for the economy to thrive.

My administration is rapidly implementing these measures, and if need be, we will seek other additional measures as well.

The Korean government would like to make the following proposals, to further strengthen international solidarity and coordinate our policy response to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

First, the G20 member countries must share all of our clinical data and quarantine experiences from combating COVID-19, as well as work together towards developing therapeutics and a vaccine. Furthermore, we must cooperate in providing support to nations with lesser developed healthcare systems.

With regard to the international community's endeavors to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, engage in development cooperation for health services and ramp up the capacity of developing countries to combat epidemics, the Republic of Korea will be there every step of the way.

Second, we must use all available means to adopt expansionary macroeconomic policies, strengthen the global financial safety net, and work together for the economic stability of the least-developed and impoverished nations.

The Republic of Korea supports the G20 presidency's proposal to draw a G20 action plan, and we hope there will be in-depth discussions in the near future about the specific ways for cooperation.

Third, in order to minimize COVID-19's negative repercussion on the global economy, it is vital that countries maintain the flow of essential economic exchanges.

To that end, to the extent that we do not undermine any one country's efforts at disease control, I propose that we seek ways to allow for the travel of essential persons such as scientists, medical professionals, and business leaders.

The world witnessed the significant contribution that the G20 made in overcoming the 2008 global financial crisis, and now, with the COVID-19 crisis, the world is looking to the G20 for its strong leadership once more.

I hope that today's summit will serve as an opportunity to reaffirm the G20 members' solidarity to overcome COVID-19 together.

Thank you.

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