His Majesty then attended the 20th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit. Before the Summit, His Majesty firstly joined the leaders of ASEAN and the President of the Republic of Korea for group photo session.

The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit began with Opening Remarks by His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore as the Chairman of ASEAN, who welcomed the President of the Republic of Korea to the Summit.

This was followed by the statement from His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea.

His Excellency the Chairman of ASEAN then invited His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Republic of Korea relations to deliver a Titah of ASEAN common statement.

His Majesty firstly welcomed President Moon to the Meeting and stated that Republic of Korea is a valuable partner and ASEAN appreciates his commitment in building a strong partnership with ASEAN in which the cooperation has advances across all three ASEAN Community pillars. This was reflected in the substantive progress made in implementing the ASEAN’s Plan of Action.

His Majesty then stated that ASEAN appreciates Republic of Korea’s contributions towards the Community building efforts, including through the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund. ASEAN also looked forward to work with Republic of Korea in other areas such as on smart cities, connectivity and in narrowing the development gap.

His Majesty further mentioned that Republic of Korea’s support for ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture is also greatly valued. ASEAN welcomes the ‘New Southern Policy’ and its ‘Economic Committee’ with an emphasis on ‘people’, ‘peace’, and ‘prosperity’. Focusing on these areas, His Majesty added, will serve to strengthen the friendship and understanding between our peoples, which is the foundation of this strong partnership.

According to His Majesty, ASEAN also appreciates the Republic of Korea’s commitment to increase people-to-people exchanges to 15 million by 2020, and to have more exchanges between youths, students, and members of the media. His Majesty hopes this will bring the people closer together, and could also increase collaboration in other ares of mutual interest, such as addressing the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

His Majesty is also pleased with the ASEAN and Asian Forest Cooperation and the ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Project. ASEAN hopes to build on this by enhancing the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement and to realise its benefits through further liberalisation.

In order to advance the economic ties, ASEAN Member States welcome the continued commitment of the Republic of Korea to develop air transport connectivity and sustainable infrastructure development in the ASEAN region.

His Majesty further added that this commitment could enhance the efforts towards strengthening the free, open and rules-based multilateral trading system, and contribute towards achieving our two-way trade target of 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. To be a region that is conducive to economic growth, it is imperative that the region remains stable.

In this regard, His Majesty commended President Moon’s efforts in promoting peace and improving inter-Korean relations, and congratulated him on the success of the two Summits with Chairman Kim this year. His Majesty also said that ASEAN and the Republic of Korea must continue to collectively address security challenges and transnational crimes. His Majesty also look forward to continuing the close work in ASEAN-led processes, including the EAS, APT, ARF and the ADMMPlus.

In advancing the Strategic Partnership, ASEAN Member States welcome the proposal for a Commemorative Summit in the Republic of Korea next year to mark the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-Republic of Korea relations. Brunei Darussalam, as Country Coordinator, is committed to working with other ASEAN colleagues and the Republic of Korea to ensure the cooperation continues to bring benefits to the people.

His Majesty and other ASEAN Heads of State and Government as well as leaders of Dialogue Partner Countries then attended a Working Lunch hosted by His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.

Source: Radio Television Brunei