HM calls for new ideas to improve RCEP
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called for more ideas to improve the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). In his titah during the first session of the 40th ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit, the monarch said ideas need to be considered in advancing East Asia community building given the success in development that ASEAN and Japan have achieved in the past 40 years. RCEP, which involves 16 countries, would become the world’s largest trading bloc if negotiations were successful.
Noting the longstanding ties between ASEAN and Japan, His Majesty said new ideas are also welcomed for the ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit.
The Sultan added that ASEAN is committed to acting together to realising a single regional community, and that Japan's support in strengthening connectivity in the region, especially in implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, would provide much impetus to the community building process.
“Japan has been consistent in bringing forth many regional initiatives, especially the Fukuda doctrine which has brought about economic transformation and progress in Southeast Asia.
“At the same time, Japan has strongly supported ASEAN's community building work and efforts to narrow the development gap,” added the monarch.
The relationship between ASEAN and Japan can contribute to the Asian century, said His Majesty, adding that the relationship can act as an engine of growth and its comprehensive economic partnership is a vital component in deepening and integrating the economies of East Asia.
His Majesty also said that in moving forward and making progress for Japan and the ASEAN region, both sides will still require one another to work together, as there were challenges ahead, including sustaining economic growth, ensuring rules based trade, freer market access and equitable growth. Dialogue relations are of great importance, said the monarch, suggesting ideas for progression as more can be done in advancing the existing strategic partnership. Nonetheless, His Majesty said people in the region should be prepared, especially for social implications resulting from demographic change, income gaps and the impact of climate change.
This would require ASEAN-Japan relations to continue being people-centred to allow people's lives to be enriched in all aspects, the monarch added.
The Brunei Times