Monday, April 22, 2024
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Celebrating 30 years of friendship

Danial Norjidi

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam 30 years ago, the bilateral relations between the two have witnessed steady growth.

This was shared by Ambassador of Vietnam to Brunei Darussalam Tran Van Khoa in a message delivered on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Brunei.

“I would like to highlight some of the significant events during the past years and share the forward-looking viewpoints of our bilateral relations in the years to come,” said the ambassador.

He noted that the Embassy of Vietnam in Bandar Seri Begawan was set up in June 1995 while Brunei Darussalam opened its embassy in Hanoi in December that year. He said the two countries established their respective defence attache offices in 2009. One of the most significant milestones in the history of Vietnam’s foreign affairs, Vietnam’s inauguration to become a member of the ASEAN bloc, was held here in Brunei Darussalam in 1995.

“Over the past 30 years, Vietnam and Brunei have enjoyed profound friendship and fruitful cooperation, reaching numerous bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding which further foster relations in various fields.

Ambassador of Vietnam to Brunei Darussalam Tran Van Khoa. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF VIETNAM IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

“In 2019, during the state visit to Vietnam by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, leaders of the two countries have agreed to elevate bilateral relations to Comprehensive Partnership, marking the new level of closer ties and stronger cooperation for Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam.

“Under the Comprehensive Partnership framework, it is truly believed that bilateral relations will continue to grow and flourish in depth and dimension to the mutual benefit of the two nations in the years ahead,” said the ambassador.

The envoy also shared that trade turnover between the two nations has surpassed USD200 million in 2020 and 2021 (expectedly) amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, there are more potential areas to enhance bilateral trade, the recorded statistics are still humble compared to the strong relations between the two countries,” he added, noting that some of the major fields for further trade cooperation include agriculture and fisheries, halal food industry, e-commerce and technology, building and construction, and healthcare products.

He further said that Vietnam welcomes Bruneian investments particularly in the fields of industries, tourism, logistics, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as technology, healthcare, education, enviroment, and renewable energy. Likewise, Vietnamese businesses are encouraged to further explore investment opportunities in Brunei.

The ambassador continued, “In the recent years, I am very delighted to note that Vietnamese firms have been able to join hands in participating in Brunei’s masterplan in the efforts to diversify its economy.

“Vietnam’s state-owned machinery builder LILAMA has been carrying out a three-year project as the subcontractor to take part in building the factories for the Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd(BFI). A division of Petro Vietnam (PetroDrilling, Brunei branch) has also been joining Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) in an offshore project since 2021.

“These two companies have created thousands of employment opportunities, both for local people as well as Vietnamese high-skilled workers. Besides around 1,500 Vietnamese workers at these two large-scaled projects, there remains about 200 other Vietnamese people who are working under long-term contracts in Brunei and tens of Vietnamese women who married local people.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Government of His Majesty for creating favourable living conditions for Vietnamese workers and migrants to settle their lives in the country.”

Touching on multilateral cooperation, the envoy said Vietnam and Brunei have maintained active and strong supports toward each other in international fora of which the two countries are members.

“Particularly, in the year 2020 and 2021 when Vietnam and Brunei respectively took turn as the Chair of ASEAN, both countries have strongly supported each other in efforts to realise ASEAN’s priorities to contribute to the building of ASEAN Community, and the two will continue to work closely together to promote regional recovery post pandemic.”