His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as the Chair of ASEAN for 2021 delivered titah at the Opening Ceremony of the 18th CAEXPO in Nanning, People’s Republic of China on 10 th September 2021 via video recording.
Also invited to deliver speech at the Opening Ceremony were Leaders from ASEAN Member States and Pakistan.
His Majesty in his titah noted that this year’s expo bears special significance as Brunei Darussalam and the People’s Republic of China celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-China dialogue relations and a key milestone for Brunei Darussalam as Brunei Darussalam commemorate the 30th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations with The People’s Republic of China.
Despite the ongoing pandemic that has disrupted economic activities all over the world, His Majesty is encouraged to note that ASEAN and China registered an increase in total merchandise trade in 2020, maintaining China’s position as ASEAN’s number one trading partner. This underscored the strong economic ties and business linkages that characterised the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and China.
His Majesty said that the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) is a significant plan that would enhance regional connectivity to bring countries closer together. It could also present opportunities for countries to work together in many areas and through sub-regional fora such as BIMP-EAGA, which would further contribute to the inclusive revitalization of their economies.
Eighteen years since the introduction of the CAEXPO, the event continues to be an important platform for the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and further strengthening of economic ties between ASEAN and China.
In closing the titah, His Majesty is confident that these events would continue to make China an attractive export destination for ASEAN products and help further boost trade relation and maintain China’s position as one of ASEAN’s top trading partner.
The 18th CAEXPO will be held from 10 th to 13th September 2021. The theme of this year's Expo was “Advancing Quality Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Cooperation, Promoting Sustainable Development”. CAEXPO has established an efficient and pragmatic exchange platform for China and ASEAN countries to carry out cooperation in specific areas centering on strategic development priorities through high-level conferences and forums. Over the past 17 years, more than 200 high-level forums and conferences have been held on the sidelines, covering many key areas in the development strategies of China and ASEAN countries.