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 said there is a trend of protectionism and anti-globalisation, volatility in commodity and financial markets as well as challenges from the rapid advancement of technology. These challenges require collaborative response from ASEAN and also the support of international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, IMF, the United Nations, and the World Bank. His Majesty made the titah at the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering, yesterday afternoon at the Grand Gamelan Room, Sofitel Nusa Dua Beach Resort, in Bali, Republic of Indonesia.

Upon arrival at the resort, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was welcomed by His Excellency Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Prior to the Gathering, His Majesty together with His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of of the Republic of Indonesia, joined the other ASEAN Heads of State and Government as well as the ASEAN Secretary-General, the United Nations Secretary-General, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the President of the World Bank, for a group photo session at the Waterfront of the Grand Gamelan Room.

His Majesty then joined the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering, co-chaired by His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, and His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.

The event was also attended by His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary-General; His Excellency Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General; Her Excellency Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and His Excellency Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.

At the gathering, the President of the Republic of Indonesia delivered his Opening Remarks, followed by speeches by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah welcomed greater cooperation to assist ASEAN in integrating its economies through the development of infrastructure connectivity in the region. His Majesty also encouraged these organisations to explore greater collaboration with regional institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Asian Development Bank. His Majesty added that ASEAN should focus on sub-regional initiatives such as under BIMP-EAGA, where there is much potential for development. His Majesty in his titah mentioned that by supporting the economic integration, it can create a vibrant economic environment, that benefits from free, open and fair trade in the ASEAN region, and at the same time, ASEAN could enhance the competitiveness of all ASEAN Member States by improving the 'ease of doing business' and preparing for the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'.

His Majesty highlighted that Brunei Darussalam aims to create a conducive environment for businesses to grow by adopting pro-investment policies, streamlining processes, and strengthening legal and tax structures. The government and the public are working together to raise the quality of life. His Majesty also welcomed any assistance in national endeavours, including the creation of more opportunities for the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to contribute towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In his titah, the monarch stated that the support of the UN, IMF and World Bank is important towards ensuring ASEAN's success in realising the Community Vision and the Sustainable Development Goals. His Majesty lastly looked forward to working together to ensure ASEAN remains a region of peace, sustainable growth and development.

During the gathering, His Majesty listened to updates and perspectives from other ASEAN Leaders, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and President of the World Bank. The Gathering concluded with a speech by the Prime Minister of Singapore.

His Majesty and the other ASEAN Leaders, as well as the ASEAN Secretary-General, and the Secretary General of the United Nations then proceeded to a Banquet in conjunction with the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering, held at the Manarai Beach Club, Sofitel Nusa Dua Beach Resort.

Source: Radio Television Brunei