Foreign minister praises relationship with Brunei during visit to country

September 08, 2022 - 08:15
Bilateral trade has surpassed US$500 million, much earlier than the 2025 deadline that the two countries' leaders previously aimed for.
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn (left) and Bruneian counterpart Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof sign and exchange Minutes of Agreement for the 2nd meeting of the Việt Nam-Brunei Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in Brunei on Wednesday. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and Bruneian counterpart Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof co-chaired the 2nd meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) between Việt Nam and Brunei on Wednesday in Brunei.

The Bruneian diplomat welcomed the visit by the Vietnamese minister, calling it significant as the two countries are celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1992-2022) and as both sides have reopened completely after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and are pursuing socio-economic recovery.

Foreign Minister Sơn congratulated Brunei on their achievements in pandemic control and foreign affairs, especially in their role as the chair of ASEAN in 2021.

The two sides agreed that Việt Nam-Brunei relations have continued to develop strongly since the JCBC-1 meeting in 2017, pointing to the upgrading of relations to a Comprehensive Partnership when the Sultan of Brunei arrived in Việt Nam for a State visit in March 2019. This was an important milestone which created the premise for the extensive development of Việt Nam-Brunei relations increasingly across all fields.

Bilateral trade has since surpassed US$500 million, much earlier than the 2025 deadline that the two countries' leaders previously aimed for.

Cooperation in other important areas such as defence and security, agriculture, oil and gas, education, and people-to-people exchanges have enjoyed positive developments, bringing practical benefits to both sides.

Regarding future cooperation, Việt Nam and Brunei agreed to promote the early development of the Action Programme to implement the Comprehensive Partnership in the 2023-27 period; arrange visits of senior leaders at all levels; continue to actively implement signed agreements; and extend Memorandums of Understanding on agriculture and fisheries.

They also agreed to coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional security, including combating transnational organised crime, cybercrime and counter-terrorism, and promote the negotiation of cooperation documents in areas such as transnational handing over sentenced people to prison.

The two ministers pledged to facilitate business between Việt Nam and Brunei, especially in potential fields like agriculture, forestry, energy and oil, and processing industries, to help ensure food security and production chains' stability.

In order to promote trade growth in a more balanced direction, Minister Sơn suggested Brunei create favourable conditions for the imports of Vietnamese goods, especially rice and Halal-standard agricultural and aquatic products, hoping that Brunei will soon ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Bruneian Minister highly appreciated the potential and experience of Việt Nam in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, and construction, and said he would consider making favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products to access the Brunei market.

The two ministers agreed to advance cooperation in education and strengthen people-to-people exchanges through sports, cultural, youth and women exchanges within the bilateral and ASEAN framework.

The two also concurred to diversify tourism products and encourage airlines to research and open more commercial routes to facilitate economic, cultural, and tourist connections; and encourage cooperation between universities and student exchanges between the two countries.

Discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two foreign ministers praised the close and effective coordination between the two countries at regional and international forums, especially in ASEAN and the United Nations, which contributes to strengthening the solidarity and central role of ASEAN, the maintenance of peace and stability, and the promotion of cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The two sides agreed to continue to closely cooperate and promote ASEAN's principles in relations with its partners, as well as in the Myanmar and South China Sea issues; promote the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and close coordination in the negotiations for an effective, and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The JCBC, which was established in 2000, is the only mechanism between the two countries to review and orient the development of bilateral relations and exchange information and opinions on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

In February 2017, the two sides held the first JCBC meeting in Hà Nội.

After the meeting, the two foreign ministers signed Minutes of Agreement for the 2nd meeting of the Việt Nam-Brunei JCBC and agreed to hold the third meeting in Việt Nam at an appropriate time.

During the visit, Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn is due to pay a courtesy call to the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, attend the Việt Nam-Brunei Trade, Culture, Cuisine and Art Exhibition, visit the Việt Nam Embassy in Brunei and attend a ceremony to mark the 77th Anniversary of Việt Nam's National Day (1945-2022) and 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Brunei (1992-2022). — VNS