21st ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit

At the 21st ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah delivered the ASEAN Common Statement, as Country Coordinator of ASEAN-Republic of Korea Dialogue Relations, in which His Majesty appreciates President Moon's continued personal efforts to strengthen ASEAN – Republic of Korea relations, including through the New Southern Policy-Plus as well as the Republic of Korea's strong support for ongoing ASEAN initiatives on measures to help overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, His Majesty welcomes the Republic of Korea's proposal to establish a Health Dialogue Channel that will strengthen public health capacity through exchanges of information and expertise, and complement the work towards regional recovery.

His Majesty therefore looks forward to enhancing the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement through further liberalisation efforts that will bring more benefits to people, help businesses and the development of micro, small and medium enterprises, MSME's. This is where the Republic of Korea's expertise in e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and 5G technologies can help build a future-ready ASEAN Community.

His Majesty also welcomes more scholarships and training opportunities from the Republic of Korea in various areas such as governance innovation, e-learning and farming technologies that can build resilient societies. Furthermore, His Majesty is pleased with the Republic of Korea's interest to deepen sub-regional cooperation, including with the BIMP-EAGA through a fund for joint projects which will facilitate inclusive and sustainable economic growth throughout the region. ASEAN continues to value the Republic of Korea's support of ASEAN Centrality as well as the Republic of Korea's active participation in ASEAN-led processes. Looking ahead, His Majesty reiterates ASEAN's readiness to work with the Republic of Korea in efforts to promote peace and security in the region.

Earlier, His Excellency the ASEAN Chairman highlighted that an open economic mindset and cooperation are common values in ASEAN and the Republic of Korea. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic of Korea and ASEAN have reaffirmed their commitment to develop efforts in containing outbreaks such as through research and development of vaccines, and facilitating movement of skilled workers through travel corridors. Aspects of human capital such as upskilling and reskilling were underlined to assist these efforts.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea in his statement welcomed continued exchanges of cooperation between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea to overcome the pandemic, with the objective to create better preparedness in facing unexpected challenges. The Republic of Korea will share their expertise in managing the spread of the pandemic both from physical kits as well as financial contributions. The Republic of Korea hopes to take the lead in the post COVID-19 era towards building a people- centred community.

At the Summit, the leaders also touched on strategic partnerships between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea continues which continues to grow despite the current challenges brought about by COVID-19; economic recovery through regional economic integration and the importance of reskilling of human resources towards, among others, increasing business and investment opportunities; as well as green infrastructure.

Source: Radio Television Brunei