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Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul
Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof,
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, in his capacity as Chairman of
the ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM) for 2020, co-chaired with His
Excellency Mr. Li Xiaopeng, Minister of Transport, People’s Republic of China,
the ASEAN-China Transport Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 via video
conference on 16th July 2020.
The objective of the ASEAN-China Transport
Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 was to ensure the stability and openness
of transport and logistics systems in the region amid the COVID-19. The Meeting
was attended by Transport Ministers from ASEAN and the People’s Republic of
China, as well as the Secretary General of ASEAN.
During the Special Meeting, Transport
Ministers from ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China as well as ASEAN
Secretary General exchanged views and experiences within the transport sector
in order to mitigate the social and economic impact of COVID-19 as well as
strengthening regional cooperation in the field of transport and logistics in
response to the pandemic.
In his Opening Remarks, Yang Berhormat Dato
Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji
Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications as Co-Chairman
touched on the strong commitment of the ASEAN Leaders during the 36th ASEAN
Summit to implementing targeted policies to address the challenges posed by the
COVID-19 pandemic in the region and the world.
Transport connectivity is amongst one of the sectors tremendously
affected by this pandemic. According to data shared by several international
bodies, there was a decrease of 48 - 61% for air passengers, a loss of USD 97
billion in worldwide airports revenue, a 25% reduction in shipping, and a 40%
decrease in revenue for road freight operators. In this regard, countries have
come together through closer regional and international cooperation in
addressing and mitigating the COVID-19 situation.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul
Mutalibbin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof,
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications as ATM Leader for Brunei Darussalam
shared efforts and initiatives in the transport sector that have been carried
out in Brunei Darussalam to combat COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister also
highlighted assistances provided to transport operators, leveraging on current
technologies, and recovery efforts in the transport sector.
The Minister emphasized on the role of the
transport sector in facing the challenges due to COVID-19. In this regard,
Brunei Darussalam welcomes the implementation of programs and initiatives under
the framework of cooperation between ASEAN-China towards achieving the goals
laid out under the ASEAN Transport Strategic Plan. Regional cooperation is
important to strengthen the efforts, not only in overcoming COVID-19, but also
for to ensure social and economic resilience.
The main outcome of the ASEAN-China Transport
Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 was the adoption of the Joint
Ministerial Statement titled ‘Ensuring Smooth Transport and Logistics to Combat
COVID-19 and Reactivate the Economy’ by Transport Ministers from ASEAN and the
People’s Republic of China. In the joint statement, the ASEAN-China Transport
Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to enhance existing partnerships
including facilitating logistics activities in the delivery, supply and manufacture
of essential goods during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Joint Statement also
encouraged initiatives to enhance cooperation and coordination with
multilateral organizations under the framework of the United Nations including
the World Health Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the
International Civil Aviation Organization whilst maintaining compliance with
international standards in supporting logistics and transport activities. In
addition, the ASEAN-China Transport Ministers also agreed to increase
the exchanges of information, knowledge and best practices, to jointly enhance
the capability of pandemic control at land border crossings, seaports and
airports whilst ensuring health precautions are in place.
Also present during the Special Meeting were
Yang Mulia Awang Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC), as Chair of the ASEAN
Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) and STOM Leader for Brunei Darussalam,
and senior officials from MTIC and relevant departments and authority under the
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