Brunei Sultan’s Vietnam visit to enhance all-round cooperation hinh anh 1Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The state-level visit to Vietnam by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei from March 26-28 will be a new hallmark in the 27-year diplomatic ties between the two countries, helping to consolidate and enhance bilateral cooperation across all spheres, Vietnamese Ambassador to Brunei Do Anh Tuan has said.

After the visit, the two countries are expected to continue their mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, and contribute to the common voice of solidarity and the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to which both are members.

They will also work to maintain and promote peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of aviation and navigation in the region, the ambassador said.

The visit takes place amidst fruitful developments of the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Vietnam and Brunei set up diplomatic ties in 1992. As members of ASEAN, both countries have made significant contributions to the bloc’s collaboration across all fields, identifying its future development and cooperation orientations as well as major decisions and policies.

They have joined efforts to strengthen solidarity, improve the role and position of ASEAN in the region and the world, and ensure regional peace, stability, collaboration, and development.

In the realm of politics, the two sides have maintained high-level visits and meetings, including visits to Brunei by President Tran Duc Luong in 2001, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2007, and President Truong Tan Sang in 2012.

During the official visit to Brunei by President Tran Dai Quang in 2016, the two sides signed a joint statement under which they committed to intensifying the bilateral economic ties, aiming to raise two-way trade to 500 million USD by 2025 and facilitate investment and business links between the two countries.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has also visited Vietnam and attended the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forums hosted by the country.

In 2017, the two countries marked the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties with the first meeting of the Vietnam-Brunei Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Hanoi. The second meeting was scheduled for 2019 in Brunei.

Brunei has supported Vietnam in joining such international forums as the UNESCO Executive Board for 2015-2019, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2016-2018, and the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2020-2021. The two countries have also cooperated fruitfully within ASEAN and other regional and international forums.

With its per capita income ranking second in ASEAN, Brunei has been seen as a promising market for Vietnamese consumption, farm produce, and food goods as the country is unable to produce them at home.

As of February 2019, two-way trade had reached 43 million USD, with 39 million USD coming from Vietnam’s imports. In 2018, bilateral trade exceeded 54 million USD, of which Vietnam’s import revenue was 36 million USD.

Vietnam mainly exports seafood and rice to Brunei, and imports chemicals from the country.

As of late 2018, Brunei ranked 21st among 128 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, and fourth among Vietnam’s ASEAN  investors after Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, with 179 projects worth over 1 billion USD.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is running two projects in Brunei with the total registered capital of 3.6 million USD.

In national defence, Vietnam and Brunei have set up attache offices in the respective countries, and regularly exchanged high-ranking delegations.

Furthermore, they have partnered in tourism, fishery, security, cross-border crime combat, and education. They are completing procedures for the signing of an agreement on setting up a hotline on fishing at sea, while gearing towards the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cultural cooperation. –VNA