| James Kon |
THE United States supports Brunei Darussalam’s involve-ment in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the Sultanate has been present in the negotiations on the proposed regional free-trade agreement from the beginning.
This was stated by the US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Daniel Shields yesterday in an interview session during the launch of the new Burger King branch at Brunei International Airport.
The Ambassador said that the US is encouraged by Brunei’s continued participation in the TPP negotiations. “We want Brunei Darussalam to be in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement currently involves 12 countries across Asia-Pacific region namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
Once the TPP concluded its negotiations, Bruneian companies can further explore the opportunity to export goods and services to participating countries, especially big markets like the US.
The US Ambassador said, “We hope that once the Trans-Pacific Partnership is concluded, more Bruneian companies will see opportunities to boost their exports to the US. With the push of Brunei’s Government towards diversifying its economy in order to move away from dependence of oil and gas, the local companies will need to think globally and the US market is one of the biggest in the world and we really welcome Bruneian exports to the United States.”
Besides the US market, the other nations involved in the TPP will also present huge opportunities to Bruneian firms, he added.
Touching on the trade between the two countries, the US Ambassador said, “The bilateral trade between Brunei Darussalam and the US is heading in a very positive direction as the trade volume keeps on increasing year after year. Currently, the volume of trade between the two nations stands in the range of $400-$500 million.”
The US Ambassador added, “Although the main focus of the US Embassy is on promoting US exports to Brunei, we also welcome Brunei’s exports to the US.”