Connectivity will enable ASEAN to achieve competitive economic growth, increase greater opportunities for investment, trade, employment and narrow development gaps. Rapid urbanization and migration of people from rural areas to cities increase demands for ASEAN to plan and develop infrastructure for connectivity, housing and utilities supply as well as seamless logistics. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Minister of Development shared these matters during the 7th ASEAN Connectivity Forum in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The Minister of Development cited that in the process of development for greater connectivity, ASEAN face challenges such as shortages of semi-skilled and skilled workforce with limited mobility within ASEAN. Limitation in funding resources, human capacity and increasing effects of climate change and risk of cyber-security associated with advancement in information technology and ‘internet of things’ are challenges that ASEAN needs to address with multi-dimensional policies frameworks and strategies.

The forum, which was first held in 2013, served as a useful platform in deepening collaboration on connectivity-related infrastructure initiatives between ASEAN and Korean business communities. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase of 15.9% in annual trading activities, marking Korea as the third largest investment destination and second largest trading partner for ASEAN. As co-organizers of the forum, the Korean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Construction Association of Korea (CAK) has lend credence by organizing business related meetings solely focused on exploring potential areas of cooperation that can be jointly ventured together.

Korea has expressed support for the rolling pipeline projects under the Master plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 in enhancing a seamless regional connectivity. The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit and the Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit scheduled for November this year celebrates the 30th Anniversary of relations and continues to underscore a fruitful and comprehensive regional partnership.

Yang Berhormat Dato accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Development also attended various presentations on national development strategies and experiences on energy, smart cities and connectivity by participants of the forum.

Yang Berhormat Dato also received courtesy calls from two companies, IPP Development Team of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, Ltd and GS Engineering and Construction Company Ltd to discuss construction industry trends in Brunei Darussalam and to exchange information on capacity (best practices) and worldwide engineering experiences of Korean companies.

Source: Radio Television Brunei