MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed Tuesday night that the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei, Lim Jock Hoi, has been appointed as the next secretary-general of ASEAN.
The Bruneian diplomat will take his new role in next January, replacing current the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chief Le Luong Minh of Vietnam. Minh is wrapping up his five-year term at the end of this year.
Lee Hsien Loong, whose country holds the ASEAN chairmanship next year, expressed his thanks to Minh at the closing ceremony of the 31th ASEAN summit, saying that Singapore is looking forward to working closely with Lim and his Secretariat to strengthen ASEAN community building efforts.
Lim, who entered the Bruneian government in 1977, has been serving in governmental offices dealing with foreign affairs since 1989. He also engaged in multilateral affairs, participating in meetings and talks of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and ASEAN as the Bruneian representative.
Local media said Lim’s experiences in the multilateral affairs and trade talks will help push forward the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The secretary-general of ASEAN is appointed by the ASEAN summit for a non-renewable term of five years, selected from among nationals of the ASEAN member states based on alphabetical rotation.