Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is a friend and an important partner of Brunei in the region, affirmed Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah while receiving Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on September 7.

Son is paying an official visit to Brunei to co-chair the second meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC-2) between the two countries.

Speaking highly of Son’s visit, the Sultan asked the minister to convey his wishes and regards to high-ranking Vietnamese leaders.

The host congratulated Vietnam on its major achievements in socio-economic development, as well as its improving position and role in the region.

For his part, Son also conveyed wishes and regards of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue to the Sultan.

He congratulated Brunei on the attainments the country has reaped in COVID-19 prevention and control and successful ASEAN chairmanship in 2021, expressing his belief that Brunei will successfully implement its 2035 Vision, becoming a dynamic, sustainable economy with a higher position in the region and the world.

The minister informed the Sultan about outcomes of the JCBC-2, saying he and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof reviewed cooperation between the two sides and set out orientations for the time ahead.

Accordingly, they will work to soon build an action programme implementing the comprehensive partnership for 2023-2027, promote investment, encourage businesses to cooperate in priority areas, thus meeting the requirements for post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development in such areas as agro-forestry-fishery, energy-oil-gas, climate change response, food security and energy security.

The two sides will also create conditions for their enterprises to access respective markets.

To promote balanced trade, Son suggested Brunei facilitate the penetration of Vietnamese goods, especially rice and agricultural and aquatic products that meet Halal standards, into the market.

The minister expressed his hope that Brunei will soon ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), contributing to creating cooperation opportunities between the two countries.

The Brunei minister highly valued Vietnam’s potential and experience in agriculture, aquaculture and construction, and asked Vietnam to share its experience and encourage businesses of the two countries to cooperate in these fields.

The two ministers also consented to step up cooperation in education and people-to-people exchange between the two countries and within the framework of ASEAN, diversify tourism activities, and encourage carriers to consider opening more direct air routes, and promote cooperation between universities.

Son suggested the Sultan pay more attention to the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership, soon resume all-level visits and promote balanced trade towards reducing Vietnam’s trade deficit.  

He also called on Brunei to facilitate the penetration of Vietnamese goods, especially rice, agricultural and aquatic products that meet Halal standards, into the Brunei market.

The minister proposed the Sultan encourage businesses of the two countries to expand investments, enhance connectivity, launch direct air routes to facilitate economic, cultural and tourism ties as well as people-to-people exchange.

Son highlighted cooperation results between Vietnam and Brunei at regional and international forums over the past time, saying he hopes that the two sides will continue their close coordination at multilateral frameworks and ASEAN in order to advance the position of each country and contribute to consolidating the bloc’s solidarity and centrality.

The Brunei Sultan noted with pleasure positive developments in the bilateral relations and expressed his support for the early resumption of high-ranking delegation exchanges. He also said he wishes to return to Vietnam at a suitable time.

Showing his support for Son’s proposals, the Sultan pledged to instruct Brunei's ministries and agencies to coordinate with the Vietnamese side to implement the results of JCBC-2, while enhancing the comprehensive partnership in an effective and practical manner, bringing pragmatic interests to people of the two countries./.