Brunei, India ties continue to be strengthened

Izah Azahari

“Bilateral engagement and the friendship between Brunei and India will continue to be strengthened in the years ahead,” said the High Commission of India to Brunei Darussalam’s Charge d’Affaires Alok Verma.

“Both sides are working on further strengthening bilateral mechanisms to facilitate the expansion of trade and investment for mutual benefits,” he said.

He made these the statement in a welcoming speech at a dinner event to mark the 73rd Republic Day Celebration held at the Songket Ballroom, The Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong yesterday.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman, and spouse attended.

The event began with the singing of the national anthems of Brunei Darussalam and India. Verma also highlighted the bilateral relations between Brunei and India.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman and spouse, and High Commission of India in Brunei Darussalam Charge d’Affaires Alok Verma and spouse during the cake cutting. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

“India and Brunei have traditionally enjoyed a warm and friendly ties since the inception of their diplomatic relations in 1984,” said Verma, adding that over the years, the relationship has evolved into a multifaceted engagement, characterised by goodwill, mutual respect and understanding and growing cooperation at both regional and multilateral fora.

Noting the restricted exchange of physical visits due to the pandemic, Verma said both countries maintained the momentum in the relationship by holding virtual meetings, making tangible progress in the areas of defence, health, trade and commerce and space.

He also congratulated Brunei’s success in conducting the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2021, and the facilitation of repatriation of 2,371 Indian nationals stranded in Brunei due to the pandemic induced restrictions, chartering 17 Royal Brunei Airlines flights.

The event continued with the cake cutting ceremony by the deputy minister and spouse, the Charge d’Affaires and spouse as the culmination of the event, and a souvenir presentation.