HM Sultan Brunei Supports India's Look East Policy



WAQIUDDIN RAJAK

NAYPYIDAW, Thursday, November 13, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a number of bilateral issues.

The meeting was held after both leaders attended the 12th ASEAN-India Summit at the Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC).

During the meeting, His Majesty and the Indian Prime Minister exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual concern, including the cooperation between both countries.

Brunei and India established diplomatic relations on May 10, 1984, and both nations enjoy a fair degree of commonality in their perceptions of major international issues.

Brunei is supportive of India’s “Look East” policy and expansion and the deepening cooperation with ASEAN.

Accompanying Modi to the meeting was Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Officer, and senior officers of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Also present from the Bruneian side were Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng.

Early this year, during the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme under the Delhi-Dialogue VI, Anil Wadha, the Secretary (East) at India's Ministry of External Affairs noted that the relationship between Brunei and India, particularly in petroleum and gas sectors have progressed.

Business organisations, he said, have also brought delegations to Brunei to identify a number of areas for investment, wherein the petroleum sector, the Indian government are encouraging at least four to five private sector companies to invest in Brunei.

Additionally, former Indian Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid also expressed an interest to enhance the relationship with Brunei in sectors such as hospitality and in increasing the presence of Indian companies in the Sultanate.

During the same meeting, he also said that besides looking for a possibility where Brunei can invest more in the hospitality sector of India, cooperation in the field of education, culture and sports could also be explored.

Although the economic cooperation between India and Brunei has yet to gain momentum, the High Commissioner of India to Brunei, Dr Ashok Kumar Amrohi on the sidelines of the launching of “Make in India” campaign last September said that the two countries have many areas of cooperation that can be explored including defence, health and education.

He also said that there is potential to build capacity training in many other areas such as energy, and many other fields in the Sultanate.

The Brunei Times

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