Cooperation within the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) framework is developing despite the challenges associated with the global Covid-19 pandemic, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin who was on Friday addressing the first-ever virtual summit of the 21 leading APEC economies, said “It is important that in spite of the difficulties due to the spread of coronavirus infection, interaction in APEC has been steadily developing.”

Established in 1989, APEC includes 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific region. These are Australia, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada, China, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Chile, and Japan. It accounts for about 60 percent of the world GDP, as well as for 48 percent of international trade turnover.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section