The Brunei King' s announcement was delivered via video recording aired during the opening ceremony of the 18th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, where the Brunei ruler was invited to deliver a speech as Asean Chair 2021.
Despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the positive growth in merchandise trading between the 10-member nation bloc and China underscores the strong economic ties and business linkages that characterised the long-standing relationship between the two.
“We should build upon this strong foundation and continue to join hands to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts in the region,” the Brunei ruler said.
The monarch added that the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) is significant in enhancing regional connectivity and bringing countries closer.
“It could also present opportunities for countries to work together in many areas and through sub-regional fora such as BIMP-EAGA, which would further contribute to the inclusive revitalisation of their economies," he said.
Eighteen years since the introduction of the CAEXPO, the event continues to be an important platform for the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and further strengthening of economic ties between Asean and China.
Concluding the speech, the Brunei king said he is confident that the expo would continue to make China an attractive export destination for Asean products and boost trade relation.
This year’s expo bears significance as Asean celebrates the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations with China and a milestone for the Sultanate as it commemorates the 30th year of diplomatic ties with China. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN