ASEAN economic ministers recently convened at the AEM Special Meeting 2022 in Bali, Indonesia discussing and exchanging views on ASEAN’S recovery effort and strategy in addressing regional and global issues.
The meeting is to mitigate the potentially adverse impact on ASEAN’S economy and in pushing ASEAN centrality for a relevant, competitive, inclusive, sustainable cohesive and resilient ASEAN economic community in the post COVID-19 world.
The meeting was chaired by Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak.
Representing Brunei was Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah. Also in attendance were economic ministers from ASEAN Member States, AMS and the ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi.
YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew, on his part, emphasised the need to strengthen intra-ASEAN trade and investment in post COVID-19 economy as well as highlighting the ASEAN Centrality in navigating the uncertainty and rapidly evolving economic landscape.
The meeting expressed optimism on the outlook for the region to return to pre-pandemic levels, where GDP Growth is expected to reach 4.9% in 2022 and 5.2% in 2023.
However, ASEAN is aware that the region’s recovery momentum and growth prospects are vulnerable to current geopolitical situations, supply chain disruptions, shortages in key commodities, and inflationary pressures.
In this regard, the meeting emphasised that ASEAN needs to remain vigilant and accelerate implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, ACRF in navigating global challenges so that the ASEAN Economy can bounce back better and stronger.
During the meeting, it was also agreed that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement can potentially be a significant contributor to post pandemic economic recovery efforts.
Therefore, the meeting looked forward to the establishment of the RCEP Secretariat to provide support for the RCEP Joint Committee and its subsidiary bodies.
It was also underscored that the success of the Twelfth World Trade Organization, WTO, Ministerial Conference, MC12 to be held on 12 to 15 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, is vital to securing a predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory, rules-based, and open multilateral trading system.
With this meeting, it also provided an opportunity for ASEAN to discuss environment related trade activities and policies imposed by other international organisations on the possible implications to trade activities in the region. – Nurhana Diah
This article was first published on 21 May 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 194 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN