HM, ASEM leaders stress better Asia-Europe connectivity

National 2 minutes, 16 seconds

MILAN

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined other leaders in calling for the establishment of an integrated, sustainable, secure and convenient air, maritime and land transportation system between Asia and Europe.

During the closing of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit here, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said Asian and European leaders believe connectivity between the two regions is pertinent to economic prosperity and sustainable development.

It is also important to promote free and seamless movement of people, trade, investment, energy, information, knowledge and ideas, as well as greater institutional linkages, he said.

Leaders, the president added, concluded that the exchange of experience and best practices on connectivity would also help with the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity.

His Majesty attended the closing ceremony, along with other ASEM leaders at the Milano Congressi Convention Centre.

Van Rompuy, who is chairman of the 10th ASEM Summit, said leaders called for the engagement of all stakeholders, including the industry, think tanks and academic community to look at increasing connectivity between the two regions.

Meanwhile, ASEM heads also called for systematic steps to be taken to improve energy security at all levels, and the need to diversify energy sources and routes to increase energy security and competitiveness.

Leaders underlined the importance of energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable energy sources and low carbon technologies, and the eventual elimination of fossil fuel subsidies.

On ASEAN matters, they welcomed the regional bloc's efforts toward regional integration, and looked forward to the launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

Leaders reiterated their support for the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 vision and ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture in Asia, and appreciated ASEAN's role in promoting dialogue, building confidence and cooperation for peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

During the two-day summit themed ”Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security”, leaders exchanged views on economic, financial, regional and global issues, as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges between Asia and Europe.

They highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, and discussed the way forward in creating an enabling environment for the prosperity of their people through enhancing links between Asia and Europe.

Leaders also agreed to strengthen ASEM's three pillars of cooperation in the lead-up to ASEM's 20th anniversary in 2016.

The 11th ASEM Summit will be hosted by Mongolia in 2016.

Accompanying the monarch were Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister's Office, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng.

The Brunei Times