Bangladesh, Brunei for deeper economic ties

Staff Correspondent

24 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh and Brunei have agreed to explore the possibility of comprehensive collaboration in energy sector amidst the growing demand for energy in Bangladesh to support the rapid economic growth.

The two sides will work for energy sector especially liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply under the government-to-government (G2G) arrangement.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah have agreed to cover areas such as investment and trade in petro-chemicals, offshore oil and gas exploration, technical collaboration and capacity building.

The leaders agreed to encourage the relevant agencies from both sides to continue discussions to identify specific areas and modalities of cooperation in this sector, according to a joint statement issued on Tuesday.

The 20-point joint statement was issued as the Prime Minister wrapped up her three-day visit to Brunei exploring ways to elevate the bilateral relationship to a newer height.

Bangladesh and Brunei have recognized the potential for investment and will encourage the promotion of reciprocal investments between the two countries in their mutual interest, particularly in sectors such as food processing, energy, ICT, ship-building, manufacturing, tourism infrastructure, blue economy and jute industry.

Brunei expressed its interest to participate in the global halal food market by taking advantage of the special economic zones of Bangladesh and the proven expertise of Brunei in halal food industry.

The leaders acknowledged the valuable contributions of expatriate workers in the economic development of both sending and receiving states, and in this regard, encouraged their officials to explore the possibility of negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on labour cooperation with consultation mechanism.

The two sides agreed to further deepen cooperation in the regional and international forum including the United Nations; the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the Commonwealth and the ASEAN Regional Forum on issues

of common interest and concerns including extremism, terrorism, environmental protection; and sustainable development.

Both sides will, subject to mutual agreement and capacity requirement, further strengthen cooperation in the health sector such as training and recruitment of healthcare professionals, manufacturing and trade in pharmaceuticals as well as collaboration in specialised healthcare services.

Both sides encouraged closer cooperation among the financial institutions of the two countries to enhance operation of financial services for effective facilitation of bilateral trade and exchanges.

Recognising the importance of people-to-people exchanges in the strengthening of bilateral relations, the leaders agreed to continue efforts to foster wider and deeper collaboration among the academic institutions through visits, training programmes, student and staff mobility, information exchange, and research and development. 

Brunei Darussalam acknowledged Bangladesh’s humanitarian assistance and repatriation initiatives for 1.1 million displaced persons from the Rakhine State temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh.

Brunei Darussalam commended Bangladesh humanitarian gesture and generous assistance as well as the efforts towards their safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable repatriation.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the areas of scientific and technical cooperation in agriculture; fisheries; livestock; supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG); youth and sports; and culture and arts.

They also welcomed the Exchange of Notes on the visa waiver arrangement for diplomatic and official passports for both countries.

Both the leaders expressed conviction that these bilateral instruments will take the relationship between the two countries to new heights in the future.