Malaysia, Brunei happy with progress of strategic partnership

-A +A

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have expressed satisfaction with the progress of the implementation of the Exchange of Letters signed in 2009 to pave the way for a strategic bilateral partnership.

In stressing the importance of the Exchange of Letters, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak urged their officials to intensify efforts to conclude the outstanding elements as well as other issues deliberated by both sides.

In a joint statement issued in conjunction with the 18th Annual Leaders’ Consultation held here yesterday, the two leaders welcomed the ongoing discussions to operationalise the provision of the Exchange of Letters relating to maritime access.

“In this regard, both leaders urged that efforts be intensified to enable the early conclusion of the discussion,” the statement said.

The statement stated that both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maritime cooperation and urged the officials of both countries to continue discussions towards increasing collaboration in the area with a view to having a memorandum of understanding in maritime cooperation.

Both leaders reiterated the importance of strengthening cooperation in the agriculture, information, technology, communication and taxation sectors, and expressed the hope for both sides to finalise related documents to further enhance bilateral relations.

Najib and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah noted the steadfast cooperation and partnership between Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Petroleum Brunei has extended beyond the commercial arrangement area, and included progress in exploration activities under the production-sharing agreements for Blocks N and Q offshore Brunei.

Both leaders noted that the Brunei Darussalam and Petronas Unitisation Joint Working Group is progressing well with the formalisation of the unitisation agreement for Kinabalu West and Maharajalela North Fields as the priority, and smooth implementation of the provisional arrangement with regard to the Gumusut/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus-East fields.

The leaders welcomed the signing of the joint announcement by Petroleum Brunei and Petronas on the progress of their collaboration in Myanmar.

The joint statement said the leaders recalled their discussion at the last Annual Leaders’ Consultation on matters relating to fisheries cooperation between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, including traditional fishing grounds.

The statement said the leaders reiterated their commitment to enhance economic cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Sabah and Sarawak.

“Both leaders were encouraged by the outcome of discussions in facilitating the joint venture for the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre and exploring potential economic cooperation in new areas of mutual interest.

“The leaders noted with satisfaction the continued efforts to further accelerate economic cooperation between Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam, particularly in the field of energy cooperation,” the statement said.

They encouraged the private sectors of both countries to further collaborate in accelerating bilateral trade and investment cooperation to deepen economic integration of the region towards the realisation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, the statement said. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 4, 2014.