Sultan leaves for Russia
Azrol Azmi

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night left for Saint Petersburg in the Russian Federation to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit from September 5 to 6 as a Special Guest of the Summit and also as the Chairman of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) 2013.

Before departing from Istana Nurul Iman, a Doa Selamat was read by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

Accompanying His Majesty are His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

Present at His Majesty the Sultan’s Flight Hangar in Rimba to bid farewell to His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, as well as other members of the royal family.

Also present at the hangar were Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Cheterias, Speaker of the State Legislative Council, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Councils, Deputy Ministers, the Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, the Commissioner of Police and also the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Brunei Darussalam.

Though the world’s attention has shifted towards chemical weapons use in Syria, the issue, however, will not be on the official agenda of the G20 group designed to discuss global economic issues. Working sessions are instead to focus on growth and global economy, inclusive development, job creation and trade, dpa reported.

Talk will be of a recovering, but still fragile, global economy and the importance of bolstering growth and job creation. Also on the agenda are international efforts to prevent tax evasion and avoidance.

When G20 finance ministers gathered in July to set the stage for the leaders’ meeting this week, they said the group remained “fully committed to taking decisive action to return to a robust, job rich growth plan.”

The situation in developing nations, with slowing growth in India, Brazil and China, is also expected to figure prominently. The BRICS nations want to discuss a possible 100-billion-dollar rescue fund to bridge short-term liquidity problems and ensure stability.

Developing nations are particularly concerned about the US Federal Reserve’s plan to ease its economic stimulus measures. Chairman Ben Bernanke has signalled the central bank will slow its bond-buying programme in the coming months as the economy improves, but that has rattled Asian financial markets. - Borneo Bulletin (4 September 2013)