The bilateral trade volume between Brunei and the People’s Republic of China reached USD1.26 billion from January to August 2020, a year-on-year increase of 108.5 per cent, People’s Republic of China Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong said.
“The cooperation between the two countries in various fields enjoys a more promising future, and is providing more choices for Bruneian students,” she said.
The ambassador made these comments at the launch of a Chinese shelf at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Library where 307 books were donated by the embassy yesterday.
The launching ceremony saw the handing over of books by the Chinese Ambassador to UTB Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman.
Yu Hong said, “The Chinese Embassy in Brunei is donating 307 books and videos covering China’s economy, science, technology, literature, art, tourism and others, including the biographies of some well-known figures, such as Jack Ma of Alibaba, Ren Zhenfei of Huawei, Ma Huaten of Tencent. The books also cover some latest scientific and technological achievements in China.”
On the current pandemic and economic situation of China, the ambassador said the epidemic prevention and control in China is stable while the economic operation has also resumed.
“In the just concluded eight-day holiday for the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival, 673 million tourists were received across the country. China’s GDP fell by 6.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter and grew by 3.2 per cent in the second quarter, making China the first major economy to resume economic growth since the outbreak.
“From January to August, China’s foreign trade volume increased by 3.6 per cent year- on-year, and foreign direct investment by 6.9 per cent. In August, the three major economic indicators of production, consumption and investment all shifted from negative to positive.
The economy is expected to achieve a medium-to-high growth of five per cent to six per cent in the third quarter,” she added.
She said China and Brunei has a long history of exchanges.
The ambassador added, “The two countries have helped and supported each other both in the fight against the pandemic and in economic development. Brunei offered assistance to China at our difficult time. After the outbreak in Brunei, China played an active role in Brunei’s fight against the epidemic.
“In the economic field, Hengyi Industry, the largest joint venture between China and Brunei, started its full operation, which has extended Brunei’s oil and gas industry chain, created new jobs and played a positive role in the efforts of achieving the goal of economic diversification.
The Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge, with China State Construction Engineering Corporation as a co-constructor, is a new symbol of Brunei’s modernisation.”
With the growth of China-Brunei friendship, UTB has developed closer exchanges with China, she said. “In the past few years, the Chinese Embassy invited UTB teachers and students to visit China. Last year, 13 UTB teachers and students visited China, including universities in Beijing and Xi‘an. Since 2015, 25 UTB students have participated in the Huawei ‘Seeds for the Future’ Programme.
“In March 2020, Huawei Technologies (B) and UTB set up an ICT Academy in Brunei, part of Huawei’s global initiative to support ICT skills development. I believe that with the deepening of bilateral relations, cooperation between UTB and Chinese universities and enterprises will be further strengthened and will make greater contributions to Brunei’s economic development.”
Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah said, “I believe that the Chinese shelf can contribute in our efforts to develop students into global citizens who appreciate culture, viewpoints and are sensitive to issues affecting the global community. These books can help promote the understanding between both countries and bring the bilateral cooperation forward to a higher level.
“UTB and the People’s Republic of China enjoy a good relationship through students and staff cultural exchange and industrial collaboration. We hope we can maintain and establish more collaboration in the future.”
Sharing the facilities at the library, she noted that the UTB library has a modest collection of nearly 34,000 volumes of books and approximately 1,000 units of media collection. The library also has two online databases – Scopus and Science Direct. Science Direct provide online access to 701 journal titles and 11,872 titles of e-books. Even with the availability of campus-wide and online resources, the library remains an important part of student life on campus and attracted more than 33,000 visitors last year.