Mr. P ehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, SOM Chair and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam.
Mr. Wang Xiaochu, Lead Shepherd of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group.
Mr. Hepnie Hanifah, Director of Policy and Administration, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam, Co-chair of HRD WG
Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to meet all of you again in less than five months. Attending 22nd HRD Working Group meeting will certainly further enhance my knowledge of your work.
I would like to thank our host - Brunei Darussalam - for the generous offer of hosting today's meeting in conjunction with the SOM II. If my recollection is correct, this is the second time that Brunei Darussalam plays host to the HRD Working Group. This demonstrates the deep commitment of Brunei Darussalam, as the hosting economy for this year, to the APEC process. It deserves appreciation from all of us.
This year, Brunei Darussalam has made "Delivery to the Community" as the main theme for APEC.
In the era of knowledge-based economy, in addition to market, capital, technology, the human resources development and capacity building, or in another word "human factor" has become an increasingly important element for APEC member economies in their efforts to meet the challenges brought about by the technology advancement and to achieve sustainable development. One will find that progress in the area of human resource development can be a welcoming and valuable deliverable for member economies and more important to our leaders this year.
HRD Working Group has been working actively in fulfilling the tasking by our Leaders and Ministers. HRD is a cross-cutting issue and has direct bearing on the activities in other fora. Therefore, a good coordination is crucial in its activities. We are glad to see that currently HRD WG is carrying out programs like youth skill development and vocational training. At the same time, it is promoting the Use of Information Technology in a Learning Society, Improving the Teaching System, and Reforming Education Management System through the Education Ministers Meeting's process. The 2nd APEC Education Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore last April has produced impressive outcome in those areas.
Today's meeting has many tasks for the Working Group to consider.
During its last meeting, the Working Group took a major step in its management review by reducing its networks from five to three. This will not only streamline the work of the Working Group but will also improve its efficiency. This meeting has to complete the work of refining the role of the three new networks and clarify the range of activities they are going to undertake.
The Working Group also has to work with the Economic Committee and the Financial Ministers process to come up with a report on the work related to the issue of Social Impact on Financial Crisis by coming November.
Beside, this meeting is going to discuss and approve new project proposals, making inputs to this year Leaders' Meeting, and preparing for the 4th APEC HRD Ministerial Meeting which will be held in Japan next year.
Equally important is the hand-over of the baton of Lead Shepherd of Working Group. Here I would like to congratulate in advance the out-going Lead Shepherd for his successful tenure and the in-coming Lead Shepherd for his new responsibility. With the full cooperation of member economies, I am sure we will have a smooth transition, so that the momentum of the Working Group will be carried on. The APEC Secretariat will continue to provide its utmost support and assistance to the new Lead Shepherd and the Working Group as a whole.
Finally, I wish you all the best in your deliberations and your efforts to advance APEC goals, and fruitful outcome of the 22nd HRDWG Meeting.
Thank you!

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