Welcome To The Abode of Peace
Brunei Darussalam is a peaceful sultanate with long history steeped in culture and is famed for its luxurious rainforest teeming with colourful flora and fauna. The country is a perfect blend of the heritage it has preserved and the modern world it has evolved into. See for yourself the vibrant colours of Kampong Ayer and the pristine rainforest of Temburong. Experience Brunei Darussalam's tranquil lifestyle and friendly people. Discover the wonders and sights of this serene country in the heart of Borneo.
Bandar Seri Begawan, 20 September 2021 Regional challenges that have caught our attention, especially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable development, require regional cooperation to resolve it. This is in line with the global call to renew our determination to build a strong, sustainable, and inclusive recovery and to take decisive action together as articulated at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2021. This was stated by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, when he attended the ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Accelerating Actions to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held via video conference at the Prime Minister’s Office on 20th September 2021. During the closed session, Yang Berhormat Dato shared views on attaining the SDGs whilst at the same time realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. Yang Berhormat Dato stated that, notwithstanding the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brunei Darussalam’s efforts to further strengthen SDGs implementation have been unwavering ever since the submission of the first Voluntary National Review back in 2020. Among other things, Brunei Darussalam is continuing its efforts to advance SDGs implementation by strengthening monitoring and evaluation, addressing existing data gaps and building on collective action. On this note, available opportunities are explored especially through partnership with various bodies of the United Nations and tapping into their valuable support. Yang Berhormat Dato further stated that in the context of implementation, Brunei Darussalam maintains the whole-of-nation approach to tying sustainability with day-to-day management. To do so, the Government has engaged with more stakeholders including youths, financial institutions and non-governmental organisations to find ways in which this goal could be achieved together. These partnerships and inclusivity have been emphasised as essential not just at the national level but also regionally, which is so far driven by the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and complement the respective efforts of the five (5) critical dimensions of the 2030 Agenda. Reflecting upon national experience and existing regional cooperation, Yang Berhormat Dato then highlighted two points. First, inculcating a stronger partnership is essential. Thus, how the dialogue can complement and provide further support to the other ASEAN sectoral bodies should be explored, as this is another key for short and long term success. Second, bringing in more important players to support SDGs should be considered. In this regard, the work done by ASEAN Stats particularly on the publication of the ASEAN SDGs Indicators Baseline Report was commended as they would greatly help to ensure tracking and measuring at national and regional levels. Yang Berhormat thereby recommended that the next dialogue feature more diverse stakeholders, including counterparts from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, to promote effective and coordinated action across all SDGs goals. On this note, Brunei Darussalam was pleased that such open dialogue would be held after the closed session, and looked forward to a fruitful discussion. The dialogue session began with opening remarks by the Co-Chair, His Excellency Suharo Monoarfa, Minister of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia. Also attending the dialogue were ministers and senior officers from ASEAN Member States. An open dialogue was also held in which experts and relevant stakeholders shared their views on the topic.
13 - 15 September 2021 The AEM – Dialogue Partners’ Consultations were held on 13 - 15 September 2021, via video conferencing. The meetings were chaired by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II. Brunei Darussalam was represented by YM Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy). Attending the meetings virtually were ASEAN Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States (AMS), and its dialogue partners including Australia; New Zealand; People’s Republic of China, European Union (EU); Hong Kong, China; India; Japan; Republic of Korea; Russia; Switzerland; United Kingdom (UK); the United States (US); as well as the ASEAN Secretary-General, His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi. The meetings among others deliberated on the progress in economic cooperation and implementation on the various initiatives between ASEAN and each respective dialogue partners, as well as exchanged views on the global and regional developments particularly on their respective responses to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the deepening of cooperation to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the path towards economic recovery. The 20th AEM-Ministry of Commerce, China (MOFCOM) Consultations, 13 September 2021 The Meeting among others exchanged views on ensuring ASEAN – China trade and investment environment to be more conducive, open and inclusive. The Meeting discussed cooperation on (i) low-carbon and circular economy; (ii) cross-border ecommerce and digital transformation of MSMEs; (iii) exchanges among chambers of commerce and enterprises including, but not limited to agriculture products, medical supplies, automobiles, and logistics; and (iv) upholding the Multilateral Trading System. The Meeting also took note on the progress of China’s assistance to ASEAN and on past and upcoming Trade Expos organised by China such as the China-ASEAN EXPO (CAEXPO) and the China International Import Expo (CIIE). The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 24th ASEAN-China Summit that will take place in October 2021. The 18th AEM-Republic of Korea (ROK) Consultations, 13 September 2021 The Meeting noted on the report of the ASEAN Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) Implementing Committee (AKIC), which includes: (i) Implementation of the AKFTA, including status of the ratification of the Third Protocol to Amend the AKTIG Agreement; and (ii) Progress on further liberalisation of the Sensitive Track products under the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement (AKTIGA). The Meeting also exchanged views on the possibility of upgrading the AKFTA Agreement in the context of the development of the modern business practices, the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, and the post COVID-19 pandemic recovery. The Meeting noted the progress report on the current ASEAN-Korea economic cooperation including on the progress of the Technology Advice and Solutions from Korea (TASK) Projects, and the ASEAN-Korea Standardization Research Center and the ASEAN-ROK Start-ups. The Meeting also noted on the progress of discussion on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the ASEAN-Korea Industrial Innovation Center. The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 22 nd ASEAN-ROK Summit that will take place in October 2021. AEM Troika Open-Ended Dialogue with Switzerland’s Trade Minister, 13 September 2021 The Meeting discussed, among others, on the progress of the development of the Joint Declaration of Cooperation between ASEAN and European Free Trade Association (EFTA); and identified concrete economic cooperation activities under the Practical Cooperation Areas 2022-2026 between ASEAN and Switzerland. The 24th AEM-Plus Three Consultations, 13 September 2021 The Meeting endorsed the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Cooperation Work Programme 2021-2022 and noted on the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action (APT POA) on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 24th ASEAN-Plus Three Summit that will take place in October 2021. The AEM-United States Trade Representative (USTR) Consultations, 14 September 2021 The Meeting noted the progress of implementation of the 2020-2021 ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) Work Plan and endorsed the 2021- 2022 ASEAN-US TIFA Work Plan. The Meeting were also briefed on the updates of activities conducted under US-ASEAN Connect and the US’ technical assistance programme on “Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade, and ECommerce (IGNITE)”. The 5th AEM-Hong Kong, China (HKC) Consultations, 14 September 2021 The Meeting noted the progress of implementation of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Investment Agreement (AHKIA). The Meeting endorsed the proposal to expand the scope of the Economic and Technical Co-operation (ECOTECH) Work Programme and noted the progress of implementation of projects under ECOTECH Work Programme. The 18th AEM-India Consultations, 14 September 2021 The Meeting, among others, discussed the progress on the implementation of the ASEAN-India FTA, as well as on the progress on the ongoing discussions regarding the Scoping Paper on the Review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA). The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 18th ASEAN-India Summit that will take place in October 2021. The 17th AEM-European Union (EU) Consultations, 14 September 2021 The Meeting endorsed the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme 2021– 2022, as well as discussed the progress report on the development of a Framework Setting out the Parameters of a Future ASEAN-EU FTA. The 10th AEM-Russia Consultations, 14 September 2021 The Meeting noted the progress report of the implementation of the Post-2017 ASEANRussia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Programme and endorsed the revised ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap and the ASEAN-Russia and Investment Work Programme for 2021-2025. The Meeting also noted on the progress of the current Programme of Cooperation between ASEAN and Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) for 2020-2025. The 26th AEM-ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand (Closer Economic Relations – CER) Consultations, 15 September 2021 The Meeting welcomed the progress of the implementation and negotiations on the upgrade of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Agreement. The Meeting also acknowledged the importance of the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP) in supporting Parties towards implementing the AANZFTA agreement and look forward to its successor programme. The 27th AEM-Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Consultations, 15 September 2021 The Meeting considered the report of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Joint Committee which includes: a) Progress of the implementation of the AJCEP Agreement; and b) Ratification and Entry-Into-Force of the First Protocol to Amend the AJCEP Agreement. The Meeting noted the progress report of the ASEANJapan 10-Year Strategic Economic Partnership Cooperation Roadmap, including ASEANJapan economic cooperation 2020-2021, as well as discussed the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan, and the Dialogue for Innovative and Sustainable Growth (DISG). The Meeting also took note of the progress of various activities undertaken by the AEM and METI of Japan Consultations – Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) to facilitate regional economic integration. The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 24th ASEAN-Japan Summit that will take place in October 2021. The 1st AEM-United Kingdom (UK) Consultations, 15 September 2021 This is the first inaugural meeting between the ASEAN and the UK since the UK officially became ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner on 5 August 2021. The Meeting took note of the activities of the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) and discussed the progress of the ASEAN-UK economic cooperation 2020-2021. The Meeting endorsed the ASEAN-UK Joint Declaration on Future Economic Cooperation. The 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers Meeting, 15 September 2021 The Meeting exchanged views on the impacts of COVID-19 to the regional and global economy and the measures taken by EAS Participating Countries to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) also updated the Meeting on its latest research outcomes, activities and inputs on key regional and global economic developments, including the recommendations on the post-pandemic recovery in East Asia. ASEAN Secretariat also briefed the Meeting on its regional and global economic forecast for 2022, as well as the measures taken by ASEAN in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The Meeting also discussed on the preparations for the 16th East Asia Summit that will take place in October 2021. Source: Ministry of Finance and Economy
Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 September 2021 Under the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting was held on the 8th and 9th September 2021 via video conferencing. The meeting was chaired by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II. Attending the meeting virtually were Economic Ministers from ASEAN Member States (ASMs) and the ASEAN Secretary General, His Excellency Dato Lim Jock Hoi. Brunei Darussalam was represented by YM Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy). In his opening remarks, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah was hopeful that ASEAN would navigate the road-ahead of a Post COVID-19 era with new economic perspectives and reshuffling of national and regional priorities so that ASEAN can recover and reap the benefits together. Optimistic that ASEAN can adapt to the “new normal” steadily together, YB Dato also shared his views on key learning points from the pandemic: (1) First, cooperation and multilateralism are vital for a sustained and dynamic economic growth especially in the area of vaccine development and distribution. Particularly, cooperation is needed to ensure that these are done in a fair, open, secure and equitable manner; and (2) Second, it has increased the urgency for digital transformation in the region especially in developing strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. During the plenary session, the Ministers among others exchanged views on matters pertaining to the COVID-19 situation in the region; best practices and updated information on countries post-pandemic recovery efforts; benefits of ongoing digital transformation in the region; and green economy policies in the context of sustainable development as a post COVID-19 recovery strategy. The Meeting also took note on the progress of the Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) under Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2021 where Ministers endorsed some of the PEDs. The Ministers were updated on the ratification progress of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and noted the work that has been done by the Interim-RCEP Joint Committee in preparing for the entry into force of the Agreement targeted by early January 2022. The Ministers also discussed on the preparation for the Meetings with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners scheduled to be held from 13 to 15 September 2021. The meeting also had a session with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) representatives and exchanged views on issues pertaining to the post COVID-19 recovery efforts. The Joint Statement of the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting, is available for download via the ASEAN Secretariat website. Prior to the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, the AEM-35th ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council and the AEM-24th ASEAN Investment Area (AIA) Council took place respectively. The 53rd AEM-35th AFTA Council Meeting discussed the development and progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). Meanwhile, the 53rd AEM24th AIA Council Meeting among others took note of the latest progress of investment activities in ASEAN and discussed recommendations put forward in the ASEAN Investment Surveillance Report for 2021 and related issues on trade in goods and investment in ASEAN. The 53rd AEM Meeting was also preceded by a preparatory Senior Economic Officials Meeting (Prep-SEOM) held on 6th and 7th September 2021. The meeting was chaired by Yang Mulia Dr. Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin, Permanent Secretary (Economy) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy; and attended by ASEAN Senior Economic Officials; officials from the ASEAN Secretariat and officers from the Trade Division at the Ministry of Finance and Economy. Source: Ministry of Finance and Economy
Bandar Seri Begawan, 26 August 2021 The Partnership Conference on Advancing the Implementation of ASEAN Culture of Prevention Focusing on Post Pandemic Recovery was held today via video conference, with His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN and Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in her capacity as SOCA Chair and Chair of the ASEAN Working Group on the Declaration on Culture of Prevention (CoP) for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society (WG on COP) 2021 delivering the opening remarks. In her opening remarks, Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) expressed hope that the conference would provide a better picture in addressing manifestations of socio-economic differences as well as providing more coordinated and comprehensive approach in mainstreaming the culture of prevention towards developing ASEAN’s work plans, effective upstream preventive policies and initiatives in the post-pandemic era. The Conference was also attended by His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC; Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN; Leads and Co-Leads of relevant ASEAN Socio-Cultural Sectoral Bodies, as well as representatives from dialogue partners, public and private entities, and relevant civil society organisations. The Conference aimed to advance the implementation of the ASEAN Culture of Prevention through inclusive dialogue between ASEAN Culture of Prevention Leads and relevant public and private entities. The Conference also intended to sensitise external entities including CSOs to the ASEAN Culture of Prevention; encouraged external entities to act as intermediaries to advance the implementation of the CoP in response to the problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in order to enable a more inclusive, sustainable, resilient and robust recovery; and set up a network of CoP champions among the potential external and ASEAN entities. During the sharing session, participants had the opportunity to listen to presentations by external entities on their best practices and experiences in cultivating a culture of prevention. They also exchanged views on how to further enhance the implementation of CoP especially at the grassroot levels. Furthermore, the Conference also discussed possible areas for collaboration particularly in key projects and initiatives identified under the six (6) Culture of Preventions Thrusts that covers Peace and Intercultural Understanding; Respect for All; Good Governance at all Levels; Resilience and Care for Environment; Healthy Lifestyle and Supporting the Values of Moderation.
26 August 2021 Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd.) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Chair of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar for 2021, attended the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment, as an invited guest of the Republic of Italy, which holds the G20 Presidency this year. The meeting, which was held in a hybrid format (physical and virtual), was chaired by Her Excellency Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family of the Republic of Italy and attended by Ministers responsible for women affairs from G20 members and guest countries, high-level representatives and delegations from institutions, international organizations, as well as G20 engagement groups and social partners. The Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment was the first event of its kind to be organized in the G20 System, intended to highlight the quality of women’s role in society and the implementation of policies aimed at increasing women’s participation in the public and private spheres as well as the protection of their rights and from gender-based violence. The conference would not only serve as a platform to promote synergetic actions and shared commitments by systematizing and organizing the many references to gender equality and women's empowerment that emerge from the G20, but would also ensure policy coherence and coordination across a wide spectrum of institutions and partners. The two thematic areas discussed namely i) STEM, Financial and Digital Literacy, Environment and Sustainability; and ii) Labour and Economic Empowerment and Work-Life Balance. During the conference, Yang Berhormat Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports shared ASEAN’s 2021 theme of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, amongst others, reiterating ASEAN’s mission towards gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls in every aspect of life. While facing the impacts of Pandemic COVID19, ASEAN continues to ensure that the rights and opportunities of all women and girls, especially the most vulnerable, are protected. He also shared ASEAN's commitment to the ASEAN Declaration on Gender Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the ASEAN Action Agenda on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Yang Berhormat Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also shared a few of ASEAN’s initiatives: a. By tapping on the growing dynamism in the digital economy, ASEAN is accelerating progress in mainstreaming women’s economic empowerment through innovation, trade and inclusive business. This includes maximizing technology and the digital space for education and upskilling amongst women, especially in trade and business.; b. The ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan acknowledges that women and girls are among those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Thus, ASEAN’s recovery efforts and decisions are also complemented by information and data through the ASEAN Gender Outlook 2020 report as well as the first ASEAN Regional Study on Women, Peace and Security. ASEAN remains steadfast in generating gender data and statistics to overcome inequalities and barriers to women’s empowerment; c. In parallel efforts, ASEAN continues to enhance its social protection, leaving no one behind. Brunei Darussalam as Chair of ASEAN is championing the development of the ASEAN Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy to address current and future needs arising from demographic change, inequalities, and sustainable development challenges. This is expected to drive progress on women’s empowerment, by addressing the gender divide in care work that bars most women and girls from developing their fullest potentials and abilities; d. As a way forward, ASEAN is working to develop the ASEAN Master Plan on Women’s Development. This will fuse various initiatives related to women’s development to foster synergy and cooperation, thus ensuring a more cohesive and comprehensive framework in promoting overall equality and empowerment of women and girls in the region. Also present were Dayang Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) and senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Source: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
26 August 2021 In the article by Shahrill et al. (2021) published in the International Journal of Educational Management (January 2021), the authors from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (hereafter referred to as UBD) shared how it was possible to change the way business was conducted in a short time period in order to continue the academic semester and seek alternatives to manage the day-to-day university affairs in the midst of a pandemic crisis at a higher education setting in Brunei Darussalam. The authors’ and the UBD community’s experiences have created new norms and opportunities for the university. The COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei Darussalam is an evolving situation with extraordinary challenges for staff and students of the university. The published article was intended to be a conceptual paper where the authors described novel higher education experiences with UBD as a case study, during the pandemic in the first quarter of the year 2020. The authors’ views, interventions and experiences resulted in a new model for higher education that repositioned students to the new global markets and economy. In the first quarter of 2020, although the UBD campus remained open and essential services were continuously provided, the university had to implement and adapt to new norms instinctively to minimise the potential pathways for community spread of the coronavirus, while at the same time minimising interruptions in teaching and learning. The findings presented in the published article were, firstly, structured blended learning became the basis of teaching and learning, alongside ensuring the highest quality of online education and successful achievement of the intended learning objectives. Secondly, blended learning had opened more opportunities to offer programmes in a more flexible, personalised, student-centric and lifelong learning manner, with the option of taking a study hiatus at the students’ convenience. Thirdly, there were more global classrooms and the exchange of online modules with international partner universities. Fourthly, short programmes such as the Global Discovery Programme were modified and improvised to become an online learning experience. And finally, there were opportunities to understand and consider the physical and mental well-being and durability of the university community in overcoming a national crisis situation. The COVID-19 pandemic affecting us all, not just in Brunei Darussalam but also globally, has indeed changed landscape of higher education in general. In moving forward beyond the pandemic, in the context of teaching and learning in particular, it showed how resilient and adaptable UBD has been as a one-campus community. Additionally, UBD’s lifelong learning programmes that were offered in a flexible manner in terms of pace, place and pathway needed very little adapting. These extraordinary circumstances will indeed leave lasting changes to the way academics think and strategise education, thus contributing to new norms in higher education. The typical model of classroom-based teaching and learning may no longer be viable for any university to maintain. Therefore, this led to the creation of new opportunities under the new normal, which UBD and other higher education institutions in Brunei Darussalam may need to explore further for the benefit of our future generation of learners. Reference: Shahrill, M., Petra, M. I., Naing, L., Yacob, J., Santos, J. H., & Abdul Aziz, A. B. Z. (2021). New norms and opportunities from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in a higher education setting: Perspectives from Universiti Brunei Darussalam. International Journal of Educational Management, 35(3), 700-712. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-07-2020-0347 Source: Universiti Brunei Darussalam
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984