Vietnam, Brunei upgrade ties

09:04 | 20/04/2019 Cooperation

(VEN) - Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam have upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive partnership, a move expected to create momentum for multi-faceted cooperation in politics, defense, security, trade, investment, energy, education, and people-to-people exchanges, among others.

vietnam brunei upgrade ties
Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (right) and visiting Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

The agreement between the two countries was signed during the March 26-28 visit to Vietnam of Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong told the Sultan that there is great potential for enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries.

Trong lauded Brunei for being the fourth largest ASEAN investor in Vietnam, with nearly 200 projects totaling more than US$1 billion. He said Vietnam would continue creating favorable conditions for Bruneian firms to do business in the country, especially in key fields such as infrastructure development, energy, high-tech agriculture, food processing, tourism and services.

Brunei pledged to support Vietnam in producing products that meet international halal standards in order to access Muslim markets, especially for Vietnam’s advantageous goods such as rice, agricultural products and seafood.

The two sides agreed to strive for US$500 million in two-way trade as soon as possible through trade and investment promotion activities and connections between the countries’ business communities.

They also highlighted the importance of the effective implementation of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, and considered the establishment of new mechanisms.

Both agreed to work closely as Vietnam and Brunei are due to take on the chair of ASEAN in 2020 and 2021, respectively, contributing to the process of building the ASEAN Community and realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. They agreed to continue coordinating closely at other multilateral forums, particularly the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). They also consented to promote regional economic connectivity via multilateral economic agreements of which both are signatories, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The two leaders discussed measures to enhance culture-education ties, aviation connectivity and immigration procedures. The Brunei Sultan vowed to consider Vietnam’s proposal to amend the visa waiver agreement by increasing the length of non-visa stays for holders of diplomatic, official and general passports.

The Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Bruneian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a hotline to deal with illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Thu Hang