APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat Meeting

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah, stresses that Brunei Darussalam remains committed to work closely with APEC economies in realising a better future, as envisioned in the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam made the titah during the APEC Informal Leaders' Retreat held virtually via video conference last night from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.

The APEC Meeting was chaired by The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand as Chairman of APEC for 2021, among other things, focused on the efforts of the economic and health sectors in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asia-Pacific region. In the titah His Majesty, stresses the importance for APEC to continue close cooperation in addressing current challenges.

Earlier in the Meeting, the APEC Chairman for 2021, in her opening remarks highlighted that the Meeting is an opportunity to renew commitments to engage with one another and build collaborative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Meeting, the leaders observed presentations by Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF; and Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, WHO, in which they agreed that the pandemic has underlined the lack of preparedness, coordination and resilience among APEC economies, thus it is important for economies to invest towards strong health systems. This is in addition to the four areas that the IMF is looking at namely climate change, digital transformation, vulnerable communities and inclusive growth.

The leaders also emphasised the importance of ensuring equitable and affordable access to vaccinations; strengthening supply chains under a rules-based trading system and international order; as well as foster closer cooperation in facilitating movement of essential goods.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand in her closing remarks, welcomed APEC's commitment to strengthen health systems; sustain economies during the health crisis; and accelerate economic recovery with a focus on trade and inclusivity in leaving no-one behind. At the end of the Meeting, the Statement of the Informal APEC Leaders' Retreat on COVID-19 was adopted.

Source: Radio Television Brunei