ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting Retreat

Ten Priority Economic Deliverables under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar following the ASEAN 2021 theme 'We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper', were proposed during the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting, SEOM Retreat held via video conferencing. The meeting marks the first of the economic meetings to be chaired by Brunei Darussalam as 2021 Chair of ASEAN. The meeting was chaired by Doctor Hajah May Fa'ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin, Permanent Secretary for Economy at the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The Meeting was attended by the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials and other representatives of the ASEAN Member States. The priority Economic Deliverables are divided into three strategic thrusts as follows:

First is Recovery. To ensure the region's post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery with a focus on clarifying rules on non-tarfiff measures and the facilitation of investments into the region; the development of a recovery roadmap for the tourism sector that would serve as guidance in the preparation of a comprehensive and coordinated plan and solutions; as well as to open new markets and partnerships for ASEAN, particularly with the launching of negotiations for a possible ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement.

Second is Digitalisation. Towards fostering a resilient ASEAN through leveraging on new technologies with a focus on providing a safe, secure, and harmonized e-commerce environment and digital ecosystem within the region.

Third is Sustainability. Towards advancing an inclusive and sustainable economic growth in ASEAN with a focus on ensuring the provision of guidance and support to micro, medium and small enterprises -MSMEs, sustainable energy transition and cooperation in the area of minerals.

Doctor Hajah May Fa'ezah in her speech also welcomed all ASEAN Leads and Senior Economic Officials joining the meeting. This year, Brunei Darussalam continues the ASEAN process of advancing the economic integration agenda and recovery in the region. At the same time, the country hopes to continue the momentum and carry on the efforts that have made by Viet Nam as the previous Chair. The Meeting among others discussed on the 2021 Annual Priorities under the SEOM's purview; the SEOM Work Programme for 2021; updates of the works of the Economic Officials in Jakarta; and proposed economic meetings throughout the year. The first official SEOM and Related Meetings is expected to take place virtually on the 20th until the 28th of January.

Source: Radio Television Brunei