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 a titah reflected on the growth of Asean-Australian relationship over the years since Australia became Asean’s first dialogue partner.
His Majesty said this yesterday morning attending the Leaders’ Plenary Session of the Asean-Australia Special Summit held at the International Convention Centre Sydney.
Upon arriving at the centre, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia.
His Majesty later proceeded to the Grand Ballroom for the Leaders’ Plenary Session of the Asean-Australia Special Summit, together with Prime Minister of Australia and other heads of state and government of Asean.
The Leaders’ Plenary Session commenced with a welcoming speech by Malcolm Turnbull for all the Asean leaders attending the Asean-Australia Special Summit.
This was followed by opening remarks from Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, as Chairman of Asean.
His Majesty said that the summit is an opportunity to enhance the strategic relationship between the people of Asean and Australia.
His Majesty highlighted that continued cooperation through exchange programmes such as the Colombo Plan and the scholarships are vital in bridging the people and nurturing mutual understanding, especially among the youth.
On trade, His Majesty praised the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA)which has strengthened the Asean-Australia economic partnership. This agreement has benefitted trade flows, and served as a platform for other FTA frameworks as well as Asean economic integration.
His Majesty underscored the importance of the digital economy as a growing and useful platform to connect and expand business networks regionally and beyond.
He also welcomed closer cooperation towards supporting the development of enterprises.
On security, His Majesty highlighted the importance of ensuring a safe and stable environment, and that maintaining regional peace should be a priority in future collaborations.
His Majesty welcomed the collaborative efforts in combatting terrorism and transnational crimes, through exchanging information and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies.
In ending the titah, His Majesty commended the many initiatives Australia had undertaken to commemorate the Special Summit, which marks a new beginning in its relationship with Asean.
During the Plenary Session, the leaders also discussed issues of cooperation and exchanged views on regional and international matters, as well as the future course of Asean-Australia relations.
The leaders were also briefed with the reports and resolutions of the Business Summit and the Counter-Terrorism Conference held earlier. / Borneo Bulletin / March 19, 2018 /
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