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Bandar Seri Begawan, Wednesday, 27th October 2021

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, this afternoon chaired the 24th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, held virtually via video conferences from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.

At the 24th ASEAN-Plus Three Summit, His Majesty in a titah reiterated that the continued relevance of the ASEAN Plus Three mechanism as the engine of growth for the development of the East Asian region and the success of the ASEAN Plus Three is due to close cooperation and the ability to come together in times of crisis.

This has been further demonstrated by the swift response to the COVID-19 outbreak and collective efforts towards regional recovery.

His Majesty highlighted the importance of ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines are sufficiently produced and distributed to all those in need, given the emergence of COVID-19 variants in the ASEAN region.

Aside from that, His Majesty expressed the view that the timely entry into force and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (R-CEP) agreement would hasten regional economic recovery efforts.

In concluding the titah, His Majesty emphasised the importance of strengthening cooperation on the digital economy to be able to capitalise on the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea as Country Coordinator for the Plus Three countries in his remarks supported inclusive recovery of APT through the equitable and timely distribution of vaccines, coordination of relevant mechanisms, as well as the alignment of strategies under the New Southern Policy Plus and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. The Republic of Korea affirmed its commitment to scale up overseas development aid in areas of climate change, healthcare and digital economy. His Excellency hoped for the APT Work Plan for 2023 – 2027 will incorporate ways to promote inclusive growth to build back better.

This was followed by a statement from His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, in which he noted with appreciation on APT’s firm resolve to work together and progress of joint efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. China expressed its support for the supply of vaccines and anti-COVID materials to prevent the shortage of supplies as well as green lanes. His Excellency hoped to further increase the stability of supply chains in the region through regular COVID-19 containment measures.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan encouraged for further medical support amongst the APT towards achieving universal health coverage, as well as the necessity of economic revitalisation through expanded investments in quality infrastructure and the diversification of supply chains. His Excellency also highlighted that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific shares common fundamental principles with the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which are important for regional peace, stability and security.

At the Summit, APT Leaders called for the expedition of socio-economic recovery through the strengthening of policy coordination and the implementation of regional frameworks and mechanisms among APT countries. It is vital that the APT deepens regional integration and move towards promoting new and flexible approaches in adapting to the new normal. APT Leaders also supported deeper regional integration through enhanced cooperation and capacity building in the areas of mental health, digital economy, agriculture, and smart cities.

At the end of the Summit, the ASEAN Plus Three Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation on Mental Health Amongst Adolescents and Young Children was adopted.

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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