Develop niche projects to intensify East Asian cooperation

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

BRUNEI Darussalam stressed the need to further develop niche projects that could foster and intensify cooperation in the East Asia region.

This was said by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II Yang Berhormat Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng in his speech during the opening ceremony of the 12th East Asia Forum hosted by Brunei for the first time at the Empire Hotel and Country Club yesterday.

YB Pehin Dato Lim underscored the importance of prioritising the best interest of the East Asia community.

In ASEAN, he said, member states strive to achieve one community next year, while work has also begun on the bloc’s post 2015 work. ASEAN leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to create an ASEAN that is people-centred.

“We, therefore, should continue to encourage more interactions and exchanges between our youth and strengthen our people-to-people ties by creating more opportunities for them to meet through educational, cultural and youth exchanges,” he said, adding that projects in these areas would be right at the heart of the original aim of this esteemed Forum, which is to promote broad-based social exchanges and ultimately, regional cooperation.

“We should ensure that our regional integration brings wide-ranging benefits to all peoples and communities and enhances their quality of life through inclusive economic growth and equitable social progress,” he said.

In doing so, the work for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership plays an important role by the end of next year, he added.

“In strengthening our commitment to the East Asia process, we hope to provide our people with better prospects to build a sustainable future. And most importantly, we need to ensure that the development of the region does not come at the expense of our natural environment.”

With regards to the event, it is hoped that the Forum, which is attended by experienced participants, would provide innovative and practical recommendations on how the relevant countries can work collectively to ensure the well-being of the peoples, especially in addressing non-traditional security issues.

Following the opening ceremony, the meeting then continued at another hall, during which moderated by Director-General of the ASEAN Affairs Department of the Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Aung Lynn.

The East Asia Forum was established by the ASEAN Plus Three countries – comprising 10 ASEAN Member States and three East Asia nations of China, Japan and South Korea– in 2003. The annual event for participants from the public, private and academic circles from the ASEAN Plus Three countries discuss issues of common regional concern and ways to further strengthen the development of the East Asia region.

Under the theme of “Sustainable Growth: The Common Purpose towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Environmentally-Responsible East Asia”, the Forum will end today (Thursday).

The Brunei Times