“We want to support diversification of Brunei’s economy through sustainable growth, as well as expand trade and investment activities,” said Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Indonesia and Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Darussalam Vincent Piket.
He said this in a keynote lecture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) on Thursday, as part of his working visit to the Sultanate.
The lecture, titled ‘The European Union as a Global Actor in the Indo-Pacific’, examined the EU’s strategic interests in the region, and how it intends to strengthen cooperation and diversify partnerships in the areas of trade, development, and security, in the region and with Brunei.
With the global centre of gravity shifting towards the Indo-Pacific, there is clear demand for greater EU engagement with this dynamic part of the world.
While the EU is extensively engaged in the region through investment and development cooperation, a more intensive engagement is aimed at boosting political and security cooperation to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.
The ambassador’s lecture was followed by a panel discussion on EU foreign policy and security policy, where he was joined by Ambassador of France to Brunei Darussalam Bernard Regnauld-Fabre and Ambassador of Germany to Brunei Darussalam Gerda Winkler.
The discussion was moderated by UBD Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Vice President for Global Affairs Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean.
Students and academics also had the opportunity to learn more about the Erasamus+Scholarships and the Horizon Europe Research Programme, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.
The events were organised through the newly-established EU-Brunei Darussalam Partnership Facility, which aims to promote two-way exchanges and know-how transfer between Bruneian and EU stakeholders from government, private sector, and civil society.
The facility covers policy areas of shared interest, such as economic cooperation, higher education, research, environment, climate and sustainable growth.
Meanwhile, as part of a series of events organised through the Partnership Facility, Piket also officiated a Policy Outreach and Exchange Seminar on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
Piket also held bilateral meetings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat, and also witnessed the annual opening of the Legislative Council session, Brunei’s parliamentary body. Piket left the Sultanate yesterday.