Human Capacity Building Vital to APEC Economies: Sultan of Brunei

Human capacity building is vital to Asia-Pacific economies, if they are to gain benefits from accelerating technological advancement represented by the New Economy, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam said in Beijing Tuesday.

He made the remarks at a speech delivered at the Year 2001 APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building that opened Tuesday in Beijing.

He noted that to help its people benefit from the opportunities opening up for them in the New Economy represents a crucial challenge to the Asia-Pacific region.

The rapid developments taking place in technology means people have to acquire skills and knowledge continually and quickly, he said.

"It is not an easy task. But success is vital," he said.

The Sultan of Brunei stressed that "we have to maximize the benefits to be gained from opening our markets for trade and investment", "to make sure that knowledge and the means to disseminate it are not kept in the hands of a few, and "to do all we can to encourage creativity and innovation."

A particular barrier before the Asia-Pacific region in jointly facing the challenge is that its members are at varying stages of economic development.

"To overcome this obstacle, we believe that new technology has much to offer by way of helping the development process," he said.

The Sultan of Brunei also pledged his country's full support and assistance to China when it hosts this year's APEC summit in October in Shanghai.

(Xinhua 05/15/2001)

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