| Hakim Hayat |
HIS MAJESTY the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam praised the close relationship and long-standing cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Indonesia in different areas and said he looks forward to strengthen the existing relationship and jointly explore new cooperative areas that have been identified.
The monarch was delivering a titah at a State Banquet in Istana Nurul Iman, hosted by His Majesty and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha in honour of Indonesian President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo and spouse Datin Ibu Hajah Iriana, who are on a two-day state visit to Brunei.
Present at the State Banquet were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and YAM Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah; HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.
Also present were HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah; HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah; HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah; HRH Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.
Further in the titah, His Majesty said the Indonesian president’s historical visit will further enhance existing close ties and assured Brunei’s continuous commitment to collaborate with the president’s administration for the benefit of both countries.
Calling Indonesia Brunei’s closest neighbouring country that enjoys a friendship based on bonds in religion, history, culture and its people, His Majesty said these ties are unbreakable, albeit changing times.
Existing cooperation in the economy, workforce, defence and education will be continuously enhanced and fostered, His Majesty said, adding that both countries have identified a number of new areas that can be jointly explored and that it encompasses cooperation in healthcare and between chambers of commerce.
In the aviation sector, His Majesty said routes between Brunei and Bali, Jakarta and Surabaya have improved mobility between the people of both countries.
“This does not only contribute to the tourism industry, but also facilitates travel for Indonesian nationals who are the biggest source of Brunei’s foreign workforce,” His Majesty added.
The monarch relayed his appreciation to the Indonesian nationals’ workforce and expertise in contributing to the development of Brunei Darussalam.
His majesty said Indonesia is also among Brunei Darussalam’s most important trade partners, and added that he is satisfied with the progress achieved in the field of defence through inter-military exercises that have given the opportunity for exchange of information and experience.
With the excellent bilateral cooperation in education, His Majesty also welcomed more Indonesian students to come to Brunei Darussalam to further their studies.
As Asean moves forward towards realising the Asean Community 2015 this year, His Majesty believes that both countries will continuously work hand in hand to accomplish the vision based on three main pillars — economy, political stability and culture.
“It is important for us Asean citizens to continuously work together and have consensus in handling challenges that lie ahead,” His Majesty added.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian president in his return speech extolled the close ties both countries have forged as neighbours, maintaining principles of mutual respect, equality, friendship and beneficial cooperation.
“I am determined to work closer with His Majesty in enhancing cooperation in various areas between both countries,” he added.
The president said Indonesia and Brunei have agreed for the need to strengthening cooperation to achieve solid, balanced and deepened trade.
“In the area of investment, I believe there are vast opportunities for two-way capital investment that will be beneficial for our countries,” he added.
On inter-community relations, the president said they have also agreed to strengthen cooperation in education, tourism, sports and youth as well as in optimising friendship associations of both countries. The president also said the signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in Healthcare and between Chambers of Commerce of the two countries will enrich and enhance the cooperation platform and working modalities between both countries.
“We also have the same outlook to play a constructive role in strengthening peace, stability and harmony in our region and also globally,” he added.
Earlier in his speech, the president said he feels fortunate to have a counterpart like His Majesty who is widely respected and loved by his people.
“Under His Majesty’s leadership, I am confident that Brunei’s Vision 2035 will be achieved,” he added, while also praising His Majesty for his active role and leadership in maintaining regional as well as global stability, especially during Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of Asean in 2013.
The president also expressed his appreciation to His Majesty for the opportunity for Indonesian nationals to contribute to Brunei’s development.
“I am thankful for the good cooperation in giving protection for Indonesian nationals working in Brunei Darussalam,” he added.