His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah highlighted the United States’ (US) continued contribution to ASEAN’s socio-economic progress and development, and expressed appreciation for its continued support through leadership and educational programmes, such as Fulbright, Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and the ASEAN-US Internship, which have helped to build understanding among the people and strengthen their capabilities.
His Majesty delivered a titah during the 10th ASEAN-US Summit held at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel, Cambodia yesterday.
Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
In working towards regional recovery, His Majesty emphasised that ASEAN and the US should enhance collaboration on digital infrastructures and e-commerce, particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises. Peoples and businesses are fast becoming more dependent on the Internet, which exposes them to constant cybersecurity threats, such as data breaches and fraud. In this regard, His Majesty looked forward to more capacity-building programmes and knowledge-transfer from the US to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities.
In concluding the titah, His Majesty expressed confidence that the establishment of the ASEAN-US Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will be more meaningful, substantive and mutually beneficial.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, in his statement, emphasised that ASEAN is at the heart of the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy and will continue to strengthen its commitment to tackle major issues including climate change and health security in pursuit of an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, stable and prosperous.
At the summit, leaders stressed on the need to ensure that the ASEAN-US Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will bolster economic recovery and regional resilience by promoting cooperation in maritime security, clean energy and digital development.
At the end of the summit, the ASEAN-US Leaders’ Statement on the Establishment of the ASEAN-US Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was issued.
Following the 10th ASEAN-US Summit, His Majesty then attended the ASEAN-Canada Commemorative Summit.
At the summit, His Majesty in a titah highlighted that this year marks the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations. In moving towards a strategic partnership, Brunei Darussalam looks forward to increasing cooperation with Canada.
His Majesty also highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the importance of enhancing cooperation in food security. In this regard, His Majesty welcomed capacity-building programmes and sharing of best practices in agricultural technology to ensure the region is better prepared.
On the launch of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations in 2021, His Majesty highlighted that it sent a positive signal of ASEAN-Canada shared belief in an open, rules-based trading system. Therefore, His Majesty looked forward to the conclusion of negotiations at the earliest, which will help to build sustainable growth and bring Canada strategically closer to ASEAN.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his statement acknowledged the growth of ASEAN and Canada relations throughout the past 45 years that has led to strengthened engagements in the region. This includes negotiations on the establishment of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which will allow Canadian businesses to enter markets in Southeast Asia.
At the summit, leaders welcomed Canada’s forthcoming strategy on the Indo-Pacific, and in turn underscored the importance of mitigating multi-faceted challenges on the economy as well as promoting human resource development through investment in education.
At the end of the Summit, the 45th ASEAN-Canada anniversary Commemorative Summit Joint Statement was issued.