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Tuesday, 15 September 2020 - Opening Remarks by Permanent Secretary MTIC at The 18th ASEAN-Japan STOM Leaders Conference

Mr. Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications of Brunei Darussalam
(Co-Chair of the 18th ASEAN-Japan STOM Leaders Conference)

The 18th ASEAN-Japan STOM Leaders Conference

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 (2pm – 5pm)
Terbilang Meeting Room, MTIC
via Video Conference

His Excellency Mr. Okanishi Yasuhiro, 
Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan

His Excellency Mr. Kawarabayashi Yasuto, 
Co-Chair of the 18th ASEAN-Japan STOM Leaders Conference, 

His Excellency Mr. Pich Chhieng, Vice-Chair and STOM Leader for Cambodia,

Excellencies STOM Leaders, ASEAN Secretariat, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, (Konnichiwa) and a very good afternoon,

At the outset, I wish to express our sincere appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Okanishi Yasuhiro, Vice-Minister for International affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan for his presence and also his inspiring remarks.  Allow me to take this opportunity, on behalf of ASEAN STOM colleagues, to warmly congratulate Your Excellency on your well-deserved promotion.  We wish you much success in your new post.

2. Thank you also to our Co-Chair, His Excellency Mr. Kawarabayashi Yasuto and your supportive team as well as ASEAN Secretariat for all the arrangement.  If not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could have met in the beautiful city of Sapporo during this Summer in July.  Nevertheless, despite the current challenging situation, the advent of technology has made it possible for us to meet virtually.  Above all, I express my utmost appreciation to each and every one of you for your presence today.  It is very good to see all of you and a warm welcome also to our Vice-Chair and new STOM for Cambodia, His Excellency Mr. Pich Chhieng.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

3. We have entered half a year into the COVID-19 pandemic ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March.  Across the globe, countries have adopted urgent preventive and control health-related measures, including assessments on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.  Practical steps for the immediate, mid-term and long-term responses have been put in place to recover from the crisis and ensure that no one is left behind in this effort.  

4. Admittedly, the road to recovery has been extremely daunting as the impact of the pandemic varies from country to country.  We will have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences when we reach Agenda Item 4.  I look forward to hearing from Excellencies on those countermeasures undertaken by respective countries to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and way forward for post-pandemic recovery and beyond.  

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

5. Another item of importance is relating to our on-going work established under the ASEAN-Japan Transport Partnership (AJTP) focusing on four (4) key pillars on Transport Facilitation, Transport Infrastructure, Quality and Sustainable Transport and Human Resource Development.  We very much appreciate the continued support and generous contribution by the Government of Japan in helping us to further reinforce the transport agenda and priorities, especially towards the implementation of Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025.  Thank you very much, Excellency Co-Chair, and we look forward to our deliberation later on this issue under Agenda Item 5 and 6, including some newly proposed initiatives by Japan for our consideration.
6. Very briefly, Excellencies, I wish to draw your kind attention to the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025.  As colleagues may recall, there are two (2) key strategies in which STOM has a key role to play under MPAC 2025, namely (i) Sustainable Infrastructure and (ii) Seamless Logistics.  Therefore, it is very important for us to ensure that any proposed initiatives, programs and activities must be aligned yet complementary and avoid duplication, not only to the policy direction set in the KLTSP (which we are currently undertaking mid-term review), but also those initiatives outlined in MPAC 2025.  This has been consistently echoed during the Mid-Term Review Outcome of MPAC 2025 which I have the honour, in my capacity as STOM Chair, participated in the interview session on 1st July, the 11th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium on 28th August and very recently the 3rd MPAC Monitoring, Review and Evaluation (MRE) Meeting held on the 8th of September.

7. Before I conclude, Mr. Co-Chair, I wish to touch on an important task which is currently pursued by both ASEAN and Japan on Air Transport Services Agreement.  I call upon both sides to make every effort in working towards finalizing the agreement with the ultimate aim of expanding air connectivity.  I have my full confidence in Japan and also our coordinator, the Philippines, and together with everyone’s full support, we can reach a more liberal and mutually beneficial ASEAN-Japan Air Service Agreement.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

7. Lastly, I hope we will have a stimulating engagement and productive session in this Conference.  The outcomes are crucial for our necessary preparation to the 18th ASEAN-Japan Transport Ministers Meeting and the 19th ASEAN-Japan Senior Transport Officials Meeting at this coming November. 

With that, I thank you.

Created at 06/10/2020 10:39 by Dk Dewi Najayati Pengiran Hj Shahrir
Last modified at 06/10/2020 10:39 by Dk Dewi Najayati Pengiran Hj Shahrir