Sultan welcomes further strengthening of Asean-Australia cooperation

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to attend the 40th Asean-Australia Commemorative Summit attended by Heads of State and Government of Asean and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

His Majesty consented to deliver a titah and joined other leaders in warmly welcoming PM Abbott to the Asean-Australia Summit which marks the 40th anniversary of the partnership.

His Majesty stated that this is indeed a significant moment for Asean and Australia to reflect on the progress that have been achieved and chart a new way for the future of Asean and Australia together. As they review the partnership, His Majesty took the opportunity to acknowledge some of the major achievements, which Asean continues to benefit from.

First, Asean very much appreciates the development programmes for its integration and regional growth. Australia’s strong support especially in the areas of capacity building has been very useful in helping to strengthen Asean national and regional institutions.

Second, Asean and Australia’s partnership has matured considerably in various fields under political-security, economic, as well as socio-cultural. This illustrates the closeness of the ties that are mutually supportive and based on shared interest to build a prosperous and stable region.

Last but not least, Asean and Australia’s active engagement through education and youth development has contributed to the improvement and skills of Asean’s people. These achievements have significantly promoted overall peace, security and prosperity in the region towards realising the Asean Community by 2015.

In moving forward, His Majesty welcomed the further strengthening of Asean-Australia cooperation through the new Plan of Action. On this, His Majesty looks forward to the strengthening of economic cooperation under Asean-Asutralia FTA, which has contributed to the development of SMEs and enhanced the quality of Asean’s products.

His Majesty also said Asean and Australia should cooperate more in the areas of sustainable development and conservation, towards managing the effects of climate change and building their resilience to natural disasters.

To this end, Asean would like to encourage Australia to work closely with them on initiatives such as the Heart of Borneo, the use of clean energy as well as strengthening regional institutions, particularly the AHA Centre.

His Majesty also hoped that Asean and Australia can cooperate more in confronting the challenges arising from pandemic diseases, including the current Ebola outbreak. His Majesty believed that Asean and Australia should engage more in the sharing of updated information and scientific findings that can contribute to effectively managing its impact to their region.

This is why Asean very much values their cooperative effort in capacity building, His Majesty stated. His Majesty was pleased that Asean and Australia are now moving on to the New Colombo Plan that builds on the success of the last 40 years.

Accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office; and Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II.

The Related Summits were held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC), Nay Pyi Taw. - Borneo Bulletin (13 November 2014)