Thursday, March 09, 2017

Brunei Foreign Minister II: Focus on Tackling Global Challenges


Tackling global challenges prime focus
on: March 09, 2017

| Azlan Othman |


THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is faced with challenges in maintaining peace, stability and economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, said YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II, during his introductory speech on the third day of the 13th Legislative Council session.

“These challenges include relations with major powers; the role of Asean in international relations; climate change; disaster management; pandemic diseases; and technology in terms of the fourth industrial revolution, which is occurring globally and has influenced our way of life and thinking. It has certainly required us to be in step with the reality of ever-changing technology,” said the minister.

“In view of the developments in other countries, I believe that the current challenge lies in preparing the present and future generations to be ready for this new reality; and to ensure that our citizens are able to face daily challenges while staying relevant in today’s world.

“The present world is borderless, and we need to change our way of thinking to see it as an opportunity for reaping benefits instead of being an obstacle,” YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng said.

On the subject of Brunei’s foreign policy, the minister said, “The country will continue to practise positive foreign policy based on the principles of friendship, mutual respect, equality and non-interference, to ensure that our sovereignty is respected and the country’s interests are upheld.“Principles such as the peaceful resolution of conflicts and free trade will form the basis of our foreign policy; and it is consistent with the values of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB), namely friendship, tolerance, a caring society and compassion.

“These policies have contributed to the country’s security, prosperity and continuing development, which have gained us respect from other nations. To date, we have established diplomatic ties with 170 countries and have 43 foreign missions. We have worked together and strengthened our sovereignty on the world stage.”

The minister also stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade would continue to cooperate with other agencies in coordinating bilateral trade on a regional and international basis. This, he said, would be achieved by opening up the market for local businesses, while promoting free trade and attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) into Brunei.

“My ministry fully supports the efforts of the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office in diversifying the economy towards more dynamic and sustainable economy,” he said, adding, “These efforts will provide incentives and opportunities for local entrepreneurs to compete with one another, while nurturing innovation through exposure to the international market.”

A total of B$107,692,930 has been allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as to overseas foreign missions, for the 2017-2018 financial year.

“This budget will assist in upholding the country’s interests and security in terms of foreign policy; and in enhancing and identifying cooperation for mutual benefit, while raising the country’s international image,” said YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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