| James Kon |
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is expected to attend the Asean and Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit in the city of Busan, Korea, to celebrate 25 years of relations and dialogue.
The commemorative summit is scheduled to be held from December 11-12.
The outgoing Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Brunei Darussalam, Choi Byung Koo, in an interview confirmed this, saying, “The commemorative summit is to celebrate the 25 years of relations since the two regions become dialogue partners in 1989.”
He said, “Asean is both Korea’s second largest trading partner and third largest foreign investment destination as of 2013, where the volume of trade with Asean was recorded at US$135.3 billion – 12.6 per cent of the total trade volume of Korea.”
In terms of investment, Korea has US$3.8 billion worth of investment in Asean countries, he added.
Based on the close ties and potential for further development, the Korean government hopes to continue bolstering the strategic partnership that exists between the regional bloc and Korea.
It is also hoped that the commemorative summit will be the beginning of the “Partnership for Trust and Happiness”, a vision that was proposed by President Park Geun-hye at the Asean-ROK Summit that was held in October 2013, in Brunei.
Touching on Brunei’s trade figures for 2012 and 2013, he mentioned that both years saw exports from Brunei to Korea maintaining stability at US$2 billion, while imports from Korea stood at roughly US$100 million.
He revealed that this year’s import figure from Korea may increase as the new LNG ship is expected to arrive in Brunei by the month of November. The ship has cost around US$125 million.
Meanwhile, people-to-people exchanges have also increased, the ambassador revealed. “Every year, there are 2,000 people from Brunei visiting Korea. And currently, there are almost 100 Bruneian students furthering their studies in Korea, compared with less than 10 around three years ago. This is because of the various MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed between UBD (Universiti Brunei Darussalam) and Korean universities thanks to the Vice Chancellor of UBD, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain bin Hj Hanafi.”