Sultan: Virus a test of Apec’s relevance

Renewed impetus: Hassanal (second from left) speaking during the virtual meeting from Istana Nurul Iman. — Borneo Bulletin/ANN

THE Covid-19 pandemic is a test of Apec’s relevance as an economic cooperation platform that has benefited the people of Apec over the past decades, says Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

He said this in a titah during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders for the 27th Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting Leaders’ Retreat via video conference from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman on Friday.

The monarch said Brunei, as an Apec member and Asean chair in 2021, looks forward to working with all economies in continuing the regional economic revitalisation agenda, and urged Apec to leverage upon its collaboration with other international organisations.

He also stated that Brunei welcomes the Apec Putrajaya Vision 2040, which provides renewed impetus to fulfil a new mission in a post-Covid-19 era.

He went on to say Apec needs to restore market confidence to promote early recovery and revitalise trade and investment.

Hassanal said Apec needs to advocate a pro-business climate by pursuing structural reforms, strengthening trade facilitation and economic integration as well as progressing work on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Secondly, the empowerment of Apec’s people, especially youth and women, as well as businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises, has to be prioritised to ensure no one is left behind, he added. Hassanal said this includes promoting equal access to economic opportunities and resources to enable them to benefit from new technologies. — Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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