KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and New Zealand need to chart a course towards early economic recovery in an effort to mitigate the economic impact posed by Covid-19.
In his intervention speech during the ASEAN-New Zealand Commomerative Summit today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pix) said the initiative is important as countries around the globe continue to battle the pandemic after nearly a year.
He said the move can be executed by harnessing potential opportunities, guarding against protectionism, boosting resilience, and maintaining open markets.
“ASEAN and New Zealand must step up cooperation to preserve global supply chain connectivity.
“While ASEAN and New Zealand will continue to work together in existing traditional strategic areas, moving forward in the post-pandemic era, a more comprehensive collaboration and coordinated approach is needed,” he added.
He also called on ASEAN State Members and New Zealand to intensify cooperation on pressing issues that have had impacts on the lives of the people such as environment and climate change.
“Given stronger political will and determination, I am confident that we can ensure meaningful changes in our way of life towards addressing global climate change,” he added.
The ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relations have progressed by leaps and bounds over the past 45 years. This is reflected through the strengthening of cooperation framework between ASEAN and New Zealand in the key areas of political-security, economy and socio-culture, with the full implementation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2016-2020).
“As we face these challenging and tough times together, it is of utmost importance that ASEAN and New Zealand continue to deepen our engagement and chart our path towards shaping a better world for all our people,” said Muhyiddin at the end of his 10-minute intervention.
New Zealand became ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner in 1975. At the ASEAN-New Zealand 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in 2015, the Leaders announced the elevation of the ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relations to a strategic level.
ASEAN, established in 1967, comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. — Bernama