Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) unanimously approved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) proposed budget allocation of BND127,524,090 for the fiscal year 2022-2023 yesterday, following deliberations on the third day of the 18th LegCo session.
The MFA is taking into account the country’s priorities, especially in the implementation of Brunei Vision 2035 in building a resilient economy, preparing for future challenges and capacity building of youth as leaders of tomorrow, said Minister of Foreign Affairs II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof in his budget speech.
The minister also touched on Brunei Darussalam’s successful chairmanship of ASEAN last year and the expansion of regional and international pacts in areas such as trade cooperation and post-pandemic recovery efforts.
He said the country’s efforts in spearheading the post-COVID-19 recovery effort, such as using part of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund to procure vaccines for member states, has enhanced the development of the ASEAN community.
The Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) Declaration on Strategic and Holistic Initiative to Lead ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD) has also strengthened coordination in emergency situations, said the minister.
He said regional cooperation on mental health issues has also raisedmore awareness to the often neglected issue.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan also said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement brings immense potential for regional trade that Brunei Darussalam can take advantage of, including the facilitation of global trade and investment.
Meanwhile, to ensure the nation’s sovereignty and security are respected and maintained, the minister said the Sultanate has also been practising a foreign policy guided by principles of goodwill and mutual understanding while not meddling in internal issues of other countries.