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Indonesia seeks to reinforce relations with Brunei
Publication Date : 30-08-2012
Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Brunei continues to strengthen for the benefit of both countries from time to time, according to the Indonesian Ambassador yesterday.
In his remarks at the diplomatic reception of the 67th anniversary of Indonesia's Independence, which was held at the International Convention Centre, His Excellency Handriyo Kusumo Priyo described the 28-year relations between the two countries as "excellent".
"Today, around 58,000 Indonesian citizens are staying and working in Brunei. I would like to extend our gratitude...for the opportunities given to Indonesians to make their living here," he said.
His Excellency Handriyo conveyed hope for Brunei and Indonesia to establish a bilateral agreement on labour-related matters for "the benefit of both countries". He noted that "both countries could further strengthen their excellent relations by signing more cooperation agreements".
Brunei and Indonesia are also working on a Memorandum of Understanding to realise bilateral economic cooperation in the areas of coal mining, fisheries, palm oil and property.
Cooperation between both countries has also improved in the economic field over recent years. Bilateral trade volume in 2011 reached around US$1.1 billion, coupled with around 3,500 Indonesian products in Brunei's market. In line with Brunei's economic diversication policy, the two countries are seeking to enhance cooperation in the field of marine and fisheries, as well as health sector.
The ambassador also disclosed that the defence ministries of both countries will sign the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee, while the Armed Forces will sign the High Level Committee, followed by cooperation inking between the Air Forces and Navies this year.
"We are confident in enhancing the cooperation between the two armed forces, Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Indonesian Armed Forces, in all levels," he said.
He added that the Brunei government has also expressed interest in sending Brunei military officials to do comparative study to Indonesia's military equipment manufacturer, PT Pindad, as part of possible future plan to upgrade some of the sultanate's military equipment. "I would like to take this opportunity to assure that Indonesia will fully support Brunei's chairmanship of Asean in 2013."
Present as the guest of honour at the reception yesterday was Education Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong.