| Azlan Othman |
THE special bilateral relations between Brunei Darussalam and Oman was underlined during the state visit of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to the latter in April 2009, when both His Majesty and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Said Al-Said discussed and called for ways to further enhance the relationship and strengthen bilateral ties.
This was stated by Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awg Hj Mohammad Yasmin bin Hj Umar while officiating the 1st Brunei-Oman Joint Energy Seminar at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.
“The special relationship was further enhanced by the official visit of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office to the Sultanate of Oman earlier in February this year, when His Royal Highness also had an audience with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Said Al-Said.”
The minister added 2014 also marks the 30th year since Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman formally entered into a diplomatic relationship, after Brunei achieved full independence.
“Over the years, we have seen many exchanges of official visits and discussions at ministerial and senior officials’ levels resulting in the signing of many important agreements and Memoranda of Understandings (MOU) covering a wide spectrum of areas of cooperation including energy, investment, avoidance of double taxation as well as cultural exchanges.
“Currently, we have 22 Omanis on cross-posting with Brunei’s oil and gas companies.
“Some are here with us this morning, whilst at the same time, 22 Bruneians are working in Oman, including cross-postees and direct hires.
“I hope that this number will be further increased in the years to come as such cross-postings are mutually beneficial not only in terms of acquiring knowledge but also in fostering friendship and understanding between the people of the two countries,” said the minister.
The Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar is one of the results of the 14th Brunei Darussalam-Oman Bilateral Consultative Meeting held earlier this year in Oman.
The event is a further extension of the cooperation by both countries in energy.
The Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman co-organised the 1st Brunei-Oman Joint Energy Seminar which carries the theme ‘Enhancing Partnership Towards Energy Sustainability’. The theme is appropriate as both Brunei Darussalam and Oman heavily rely on oil and gas as the main backbone of their economies. Both economies seek sustainability in the energy sector that integrates economic, social and environmental aspects.
The three-day seminar is part of the outcomes of the 14th Brunei Darussalam-Sultanate of Oman bilateral consultative meeting 2014 held in January this year, which aimed at further enhancing the bilateral relations between Brunei and the Oman in the energy sector and bringing together both countries’ knowledge on addressing the current pressing energy sector challenges.
Also present as the special guest was the Under Secretary from the Sultanate of Oman, Salim Nasser Al-Aufi. Also in attendance was Ambassador of Oman to Brunei Darussalam, Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed Al-Maskari.
The seminar acts as a platform for both countries to learn and exchange ideas on the best practices in energy sectors as well as identifying ways to address common challenges faced by both countries.
It consists of six sessions addressing various issues from regulatory role, challenges in the upstream and downstream oil and gas, sustainable energy, influence of technology and SME development.
The Omani delegation made up of several officials from the oil and gas industry and the private sectors.
The seminar is attended by Brunei’s oil and gas industries, government officials and students.
The seminar is planned to be organised biennially so as to ensure a continuous dialogue that is mutually beneficial to both countries.
The next seminar will be hosted by Oman.