Brunei minister makes call to strengthen intra-Asean trade and investment


Image from Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, May 21 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah emphasised the need to strengthen intra-Asean trade and investment in the post Covid19 world as well as emphasising the Asean centrality in navigating the uncertainty and rapidly evolving economic landscape.

The minister said this representing Brunei during the Asean Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Special Meeting 2022 in Bali, Indonesia on May 18.

The meeting was chaired by Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak. Economic ministers from ASEAN member states and Asean Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi also participated.

Participants had a fruitful discussion and exchanged views on Aseans recovery effort and strategy in addressing regional and global issues that can mitigate their potentially adverse impact on Asean’s economy and in pushing Asean centrality for a relevant, competitive, inclusive, sustainable cohesive and resilient Asean Economic Community in the post Covid-19 world.

The meeting expressed optimism on the outlook for the region to return to pre-pandemic levels, where gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to reach 4.9 per cent in 2022 and 5.2 per cent in 2023.

Asean, is however cognizant that the region’s recovery momentum and growth prospect are vulnerable to current geopolitical situations, supply chain disruptions, shortages in key commodities, and inflationary pressures.

The meeting highlighted the need for Asean to remain vigilant and accelerate the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) in navigating global challenges so that the Asean economy can bounce back better and stronger.

The ministers also agreed that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement can potentially be a significant contributor to post pandemic economic recovery efforts.

The meeting looked forward to the establishment of the RCEP Secretariat to provide support for the RCEP Joint Committee and its subsidiary bodies.

The meeting underscored that the success of the 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12), to be held on June 12-15 in Geneva, Switzerland, is vital to secure a predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory, rules-based, and open multilateral trading system.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for Asean to discuss environment – related trade activities and policies imposed by other international organisations on the possible implications to trade activities in the region. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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