ASEAN focussing on recovery amid pandemic

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy) Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin and Permanent Secretary (Economy) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Dr Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin attended the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting on October 12, via video conferencing at the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

The meeting was chaired by Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio.

Attending the meeting were ministers from the G20 member states, representatives of international organisations such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and regional international organisation including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Brunei Darussalam was invited as ‘Guest of the Chair’ in its capacity as ASEAN Chair for 2021.

The meeting focussed on trade and health, trade and environmental sustainability, MSMEs’ participation in world trade, services and investment, government support, and WTO Reform.

In his intervention, amongst others, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew shared that in addressing challenges posed by the pandemic, ASEAN has placed its focus on recovery as outlined in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

Under Brunei Darussalam’s priority economic deliverables (PEDs), ASEAN has embarked on developing the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap (BSBR) which seeks to leverage on the positive digitalisation momentum to ensure ASEAN’s digital transformation agenda can be achieved effectively and efficiently.

Environmental sustainability is another important agenda in ASEAN’s recovery efforts through initiatives such as Joint Declaration on Energy Transition, developing a framework for Circular Economy and the ASEAN sustainable taxonomy that will contribute to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth in ASEAN.

The minister also shared the important role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in ASEAN’s economic growth and integration efforts. Under the BSBR and ACRF, ASEAN envisages that information sharing, reskilling and upskilling of MSMEs will help the transition towards digital and sustainable recovery.