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Brunei, the ASEAN chair, expresses his thoughts on the bloc's future

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The ASEAN-Japan Centre is an international institution that was founded in 1981 by member governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan, and has served as a bridge between the two parties for the past 40 years.
Through seminars, webinars, workshops, capacity-building programmes, research and policy analysis, cross-cultural events, and publication and information services, it has been promoting exports from ASEAN member states to Japan, as well as investment and tourism, as well as people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN members and Japan.


The presidency of ASEAN changes every year, based on the alphabetical order of the member states' names.
Brunei Darussalam is chairing ASEAN this year, with the theme "We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper."
Despite the obstacles and constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brunei will host the ASEAN Summit and has hosted similar summits as well as a number of other government events.


Before the summit and subsequent meetings begin in October, the AJC sought a statement from Brunei Darussalam, the ASEAN chair for 2021, on its chairmanship and ASEAN's future prospects to communicate with the Japanese public.
Dato Amin Liew Abdullah, minister in the Prime Minister's Office and minister of finance and economy II, sent the following message to the AJC.

2021 will be a watershed moment in the world's efforts to combat a virus unlike any other.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on people's lives, communities, and businesses all around the world.
It had a far-reaching negative impact on economic growth in 2020, well beyond anything seen in the modern world.


Likewise, ASEAN has not been spared from its consequences, as the region's economic operations have been badly harmed.
Our supply chains are being tested, our border crossings are being restricted, and numerous industrial activities are being disrupted.
It has undoubtedly had an impact on the lives of people throughout the ASEAN area, prompting us to work together to comprehend this paradigm change in economic activity and future thoughts.
As a result, coordinated efforts are being made to improve the region's economic resilience by ensuring open and integrated supply chains and growing intra-ASEAN trade and investment. At the 37th ASEAN Summit in November 2020, ASEAN leaders accepted the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its implementation plan as a tribute to their efforts.
The framework describes the region's requirements as it adjusts to the new normal and moves toward a more long-term sustainable and resilient future.


The region's economy has begun to pick up as ASEAN member states gradually resume economic operations, demonstrating our ability to adjust to this new climate.
Digital transformation has been implemented across business models, driving digital adoption and forcing business entities to review how they function, as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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