The Twentieth ASEAN Economic Community Council (20th AECC) Meeting

18 October 2021

The Twentieth ASEAN Economic Community Council (AECC) Meeting was held virtually on the 18th October 2021. 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 ASEAN Economic Council Ministers from ASEAN Member States (AMS) and the ASEAN Secretary General, His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi. Brunei Darussalam was represented by Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy). Also present was Yang Mulia Dr Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin, Permanent Secretary (Economy) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy. 

In preparation for the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summit, the Ministers among others discussed key accomplishments and progress of the Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar for Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship for 2021. The PEDs for this year are:

(1) Non-Tariff Measures Cost Effectiveness Toolkit (NTM Toolkit);
(2) Post COVID-19 Recovery Plan for ASEAN Tourism;
(3) Launch of the negotiations for the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement;
(4) ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework (AIFF);
(5) Signing of the 9th AFAS protocol on Financial Services;
(6) Work Plan on the Implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on e-Commerce 2021-2025;
(7) Regional Action Plan on the Implementation of the Norms of Responsible State’s Behaviour in Cyberspace;
(8) Convene ASEAN Financial Literacy Conference;
(9) ASEAN Framework to support Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (FAF) Small Producers, Cooperatives, and MSMEs to Improve Product Quality to Meet Regional/International Standards and Ensure Competitiveness;
(10) Bandar Seri Begawan: Joint Declaration of the 39th ASEAN Ministers on Energy on Energy Security and Energy Transition;
(11) Framework for Circular Economy for the ASEAN Economic Community;
(12) Imperatives for Regional Cooperation in Minerals: Key Recommendations to Respond to Opportunities and Challenges of a Minerals-Intensive Future; and
(13) Initiate the Development of ASEAN Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance

Furthermore, the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration (BSBR), an additional deliverable was also endorsed. The BSBR aims to pave the road ahead for the region’s digital transformation towards realising the ASEAN Digital Economy agenda. 

The meeting also discussed and provided guidance on the policy responses on the emerging issues and cross-cutting recommendations of the Mid Term Review (MTR) report of the AEC Blueprint 2025. Additionally, in line with the development of Post-2025 Vision, the meeting exchanged views on megatrends and emerging challenges, to provide guidance to AEC Sectoral Bodies. 

Prior to the 20th AECC Meeting, a virtual interface was held between the AEC Council and the ASEAN Digital Ministers (ADGMIN). Ministers discussed strengthening the synergy and coordination in progressing ASEAN’s Digital Transformation Agenda. The discussion amongst others focused on the coordination on the way forward and implementation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda To Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery And Digital Economy Integration.

During the meeting, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Awang Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, shared that over the years, ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) as the predecessor of ADGMIN, has implemented various initiatives under the ASEAN ICT Masterplans of 2015 and 2020 respectively, as the foundation for digital transformation in the region.

Yang Berhormat Minister of Transport and Infocommunications also added that ADGMIN is now implementing the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 through the activities and workplan under ASEAN Digital Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADGSOM), which can be further aligned with the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap. 

Source: Ministry of Finance and Economy

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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