His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the Plenary Session of the 12th Asia-Europe Summit Meeting which was held at the Europa Building, Brussels. Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

The Plenary Session commenced with an opening statement by the Chairman of the 12th ASEM Summit Meeting, His Excellency Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

During this Session, His Majesty in his Titah highlighted geographical risks, demographic change and shifting perceptions as challenges that threaten the positive momentum of global economic growth and resilience.

The role played by international trade and investment is very important, and our people must be assured of the benefits of economic integration. To promote this, markets must be kept open, protectionism resisted, and follow the rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organisation.

His Majesty went on to say that this can be supported through a strong multilateral framework. As such, His Majesty drew attention to ASEAN's work in finalizing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, as well as resuming talks with the EU on the possibility of an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.

His Majesty stated that an economy's resilience is dependent on its ability to adapt to digital technologies to enable new markets and trading across borders, participate in the global value chains to increase productivity and opportunities, and support government initiatives to improve ease of doing business to aid growth.

Prioritizing economic connectivity in the ASEM agenda is critical to promote greater competitiveness and prosperity.

However, rapid technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can potentially disrupt the labour market, which requires re-training and life-long learning to ensure the success of entrepreneurship and providing job security.

His Majesty went on to state that there is much to learn from each other on developing a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem, through sharing of best practices between policymakers, businesses and the community.

In this regard, His Majesty welcomed the work of the ASEM Pathfinder Group on Connectivity which will contribute towards narrowing the development gap between members, and achieving the United Nation's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

After the Plenary Session, His Majesty then joined other Leaders and Heads of Delegation for a photo session.

Source: Radio Television Brunei