Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah received Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Feb. 7.

The Sultan, at the request of Minister Minh, decided to free nine Vietnamese fishermen, who have been detained since Jan. 20.

The Sultan acknowledged the important achievements of the Vietnamese people in their doi moi (renewal) process and expressed his appreciation for the multi-faceted friendship between the two countries, noting that the two sides needed to enhance cooperation in the coming time for mutual benefit.

He praised Vietnamese guest workers in Brunei , saying that the country would like to receive more workers from Vietnam . He also confirmed that Brunei will import rice from Vietnam .

Minister Minh said that Vietnam always treasures the friendly neighbouring relations with other ASEAN countries, including Brunei .

The same day, Minh and his Brunei counterpart agreed to celebrate the 20 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on Feb. 29 and to enhance the exchange of high-level delegations.

The two ministers agreed to organise the first session of the Vietnam-Brunei Joint Commission, hosted by Vietnam, in order to review and set plans for future cooperation.

In 2011, trade turnover between Vietnam and Brunei exceeded 200 million USD, which was 10 times higher than the previous year.

The two ministers promised to continue creating favourable conditions for enterprises from their countries to search business opportunities in the country.

They also discussed other fields with potential for cooperation such as labour, oil and gas, agriculture and fisheries, and tourism. They agreed to establish a suitable framework to solve all issues of boats and fishermen who enter the other’s territorial waters to match the two countries’ laws and maintain friendly ties.

As for the East Sea issue, the two sides affirmed the neccessity to ensure peace, stability, security and free navigation in the East Sea and to solve disputes by peaceful measures and obedience to international laws, especially the UN’s 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), advancing towards the building of the Code of Conduct (COC).

The Vietnamese minister said that Vietnam will support and coordinate with Brunei on its chair of ASEAN in 2013.

The two sides also agreed to work together to build a strong and united ASEAN community in 2015. They promised to work with other partners to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership benefit each member and contribute to the growth and prosperity of all countries in the region./.