After the ASEAN-US Summit, His Majesty and other ASEAN Heads of State and Government then proceeded to attend the 21st ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit.

Before the Summit, His Majesty joined leaders of the ASEAN Plus Three for a group photo.

The ASEAN Plus Three Summit began with the Opening Statement from His Excellency Chairman of ASEAN, who welcomed the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, President of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister of Japan to the Summit.

His Excellency Chairman of ASEAN then invited His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China; His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea; followed by His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan to convey their respective statements.

His Excellency the Chairman of ASEAN then invited His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN to present the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation progress report.

In this summit, His Majesty in the titah said that over the years, ASEAN Plus Three process has become the main vehicle for promoting economic integration and cooperation in East Asia. His Majesty also state that it is imperative to strengthen the cooperation by capitalising on opportunities and collectively addressing common challenges.

In this regard, His Majesty in the titah said there are two areas where ASEAN can focus on in the near future. Firstly, as all the economies have greatly benefited from free and open trade, ASEAN should collectively uphold the rules-based multilateral trading system. This includes stepping-up efforts to conclude the RCEP agreement as well as resisting anti-globalisation forces. As such, ASEAN looks forward to working closely with the Plus Three countries to enhance the region's economic prosperity.

With the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, His Majesty adds that ASEAN must also focus on innovation to ensure the region to be more competitive. His Majesty thereby encourages greater cooperation on e-commerce and digital trade, which is transforming the way business people and consumers interact.

His Majesty in the titah then said in facilitating a faster and more reliable movement of goods and services in the region, ASEAN should also enhance connectivity by developing the necessary infrastructure. One way of achieving this is by complementing the MPAC 2025 with the connectivity strategies of the Plus Three countries. This would also help facilitate networking among Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises so that these enterprises can take part in and benefit from the global value chain. His Majesty believes that this would not only promote greater trade and investment in our region, but also promote efficiency and bring tangible benefits for the people in the future.

Source: Radio Television Brunei