Enhanced ties paramount in Covid battle, Brunei tells Asean

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah delivering his speech. - INFOFOTO

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): In combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Asean member states and its dialogue partners to enhance solidarity and cooperation, and to encourage continued engagement between the private and public sectors.

His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said this in a video recording during the opening of the Asean Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2021 held virtually from Brunei Darussalam on Monday (Oct 25).

In a titah, His Majesty, as the Chair of Asean for 2021, pointed out that the global economy remains fragile and uncertain in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

The monarch reaffirmed that as the Chair of Asean for 2021, Brunei Darussalam has the honour of leading the region towards economic recovery.

The ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’ theme affirms Asean's collective commitment to care for its people and prepare for future challenges and opportunities, with the goal of ensuring that the entire Asean Community can sustainably prosper.

The Sultan touched on how Brunei Darussalam’s 13 priority economic deliverables contribute to economic recovery efforts, by leveraging on new technologies and digitalisation to ensure sustainable economic growth in Asean, among other things.

The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement last year also demonstrated Asean’s concerted efforts towards advancing international trade cooperation and regional recovery.

The monarch said the summit provides a platform for policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss, share experiences and work together on how to enable businesses to become more sustainable and resilient against future shocks.

ABIS is South-East Asia’s premier annual forum bringing together heads of state, presidents and prime ministers, as well as business and thought leaders of Asean and its dialogue partners.

Part of the official Asean meetings, it is a unique platform to discuss how the region is addressing key issues, and how to ensure opportunities in Asean’s vibrant economies are developed sustainably and inclusively.

This year’s theme ‘Building Our Sustainable Digital Future’ focuses on how to build back better and recover stronger, together.

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