Malaysia to host next GCC-Asean summit in 2025

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the inaugural GCC-Asean summit today. – Bernama photo

RIYADH (Oct 20): Leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have agreed to hold GCC-Asean summit every two years with the next summit set to take place in Malaysia in 2025.

This matter was agreed by the leaders during the inaugural GCC-Asean Summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, according to a joint statement issued after the inugural GCC-Asean Summit attended by leaders of both blocks.

Additionally, the leaders have afffirmed their commitment to strenghten their ties at both multilateral and bilateral levels and deepen cooperation in various sectors of mutual interests.

These include from peace and security to exploring cooperation in economy and trade, education, sports as well as people-to-people relations.

The statement, made available on Saudi Press Agency (SPA) website, said leaders of the two sides inspired by their common interests and their deeply-rooted historical ties had discussed ways to upgrade and develop their partnership to take advantage of the growth opportunities.

The two sides will undertake consultations and explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest to implement the four priority areas of Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), namely maritime cooperation, connectivity, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and economic and other possible areas of cooperation, where appropriate.

The leaders of the two blocs also declared to strengthen their ties at both multilateral and bilateral levels, and in global fora by pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, peace, security and stability, and to navigate global and regional challenges and risks.

This is to ensure sustainable supply chains, transport interconnectivity and communications; to strengthen food, energy and water security; as well as to build cooperation in green and renewable energy sources and technologies, tourism infrastructure, creating business opportunities and boosting trade and investment flows, the statement added.

The leaders also welcomed the GCC-Asean Framework of Cooperation (2024-2028), which outlines measures and cooperation activities to be jointly undertaken by Asean and the GCC in the areas of common interest and for mutual benefit including political and security dialogue, trade and investment people-to-people exchanges, education, culture, tourism, media and sports.

Both sides will work to enhance trade and investment flows, and to promote trade and investment relations between the GCC and Asean, by enhancing public-private sector engagement and business-to-business relations between both regions, using available and new physical and online platforms, trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and dialogues between their business representatives.

They also support both regions’ efforts toward a digitally-enabled economy that is open, secure, inclusive, and sustainable, and to further leverage ICT to enable innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as new technological developments including Internet of Things, 5G Networks, Artificial Intelligence and smart cities.

The leaders also stressed the important role that the GCC and Asean countries can play in hosting major sporting events, and welcomed the candidacy of Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

The leaders also stressed the importance and urgency of promoting joint action including through the Asean Centre for Climate Change and similar GCC entities in mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts, protecting the environment and developing low carbon and clean energy technologies, such as renewables, energy efficiency and conservation, carbon abatement and removal technologies. – Bernama