Brunei welcomes ASEAN’s progress in COVID-19 fight, economic recovery hinh anh 1The 38th ASEAN Summit. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) - Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2021, on October 26 welcomed the bloc's progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.

Speaking at the 38th ASEAN Summit, the Brunei Sultan emphasised that ASEAN has made strides in building the ASEAN Community and coping with the ongoing pandemic. Concerted efforts by the organisation play a significant role in the region’s future in the current fast changing world, he said.

ASEAN has continued to create optimal conditions for young people to become more dynamic and resilient via knowledge and skill development, he said, adding that ASEAN has set up a scholarship programme for ASEAN youths, to which Brunei will contribute funds for the next 10 years.

Brunei welcomes ASEAN’s progress in COVID-19 fight, economic recovery hinh anh 2Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei (Photo: VNA)

The Sultan highly valued ASEAN’s efforts in protecting vulnerable groups through the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

At the 39th ASEAN Summit, the Sultan hailed remarkable progress by ASEAN in enhancing cooperation with partners, stressing the need to expand efforts in the COVID-19 fight and preparing for the future.

ASEAN-led processes are considered the best way for the bloc to resolve issues of common concerns, he said.

The Sultan also welcomed the UKs becoming the first dialogue partner of ASEAN in the past two decades.

He underlined that the organisation needs to maintain an open, comprehensive and rules-based regional structure with ASEAN playing a central role, thereby promoting partnerships and taking into account partners’ contributions to ASEAN-led processes./.