| James Kon |
THE new Secretary-General of Asean in 2018 is set to be from Brunei Darussalam and the appointment will see that Brunei Darussalam plays a guiding role in opening a new chapter for Asean.
The increasingly significant role was highlighted by Ryu Jeong-hyun, the Director General of the South Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea in his speech at the opening of the new Korean Embassy building and residence located at the Diplomatic Enclave yesterday.
Ryu Jeong-hyun added that he is looking forward to seeing a strengthened Asean-ROK cooperation with Brunei which will assume the role of coordinator in 2019 when Korea commemorates the 30th anniversary of Asean-ROK Dialogue Partnership.
With the newly opened chancery of the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, he hoped that it will play a key role as an outpost for strengthening cooperation and communication between both countries. In addition, it provides a centre for Bruneian people to raise the awareness of Korean culture as well as for Korean people to learn about Brunei.
Recapping on the bilateral relationship between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Korea, he touched on the economic sector whereby the trade between Korea and Brunei has increased about eight times to 1.2 billion US dollars since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
He also said, “With the abundant natural resources, Brunei has become Korea’s essential partner for energy cooperation. Moreover, a growing number of Korean companies are interested in participating in the construction projects of Brunei, demonstrating the promising future of economic cooperation between our two countries.”
On tourism, he revealed that the number of Bruneian tourists visiting Korea has grown to 2,300 and about 8,000 Korean tourists visited Brunei in 2015. People-to-people exchanges are expected to grow further thanks to the recent opening of direct flights.
“I firmly believe that such people-to-people exchanges will serve as a solid foundation for promoting mutual understanding between the people of our two countries,” he expressed.