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Ample room remains for Vietnam-Brunei cooperation

Ample room remains for Vietnam-Brunei cooperation

Sunday, February 12, 2023, 17:10 GMT+7
Ample room remains for Vietnam-Brunei cooperation
Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah personally drives an electric vehicle to carry Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse on February 11, 2023. Photo: Duong Giang / Tuoi Tre

Despite encouraging results in the cooperation between Vietnam and Brunei, they are not corresponding to the demands, potential, and advantages of the two sides, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said during his official visit to Brunei on Friday and Saturday.

The two countries’ trade has increased sharply and exceeded the target.

The potential of further growth in two-way trade is great with both two sides’ efforts.

In 2022, three years after Vietnam and Brunei established a comprehensive partnership, their trade reached US$725.8 million, up 134 percent from 2021, well above the target of $500 million set for 2025. 

Brunei currently ranks 26th among the 142 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with a total registered investment of nearly $1 billion for 156 projects.

On the other hand, Vietnam has had only two investment projects in Brunei with a total registered capital of over $3.6 million.

To contribute to dealing with the imbalance, PM Chinh met with Brunei’s leading energy enterprises and ministers on Saturday afternoon.

At the meeting, Brunei enterprises also expressed their high hopes for the robust development of Vietnam’s economy and the relations between the two countries in the coming time.

Tran Hoai Nam, deputy general director of PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation, an arm of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, said Brunei is a potential market for Vietnamese enterprises.

The corporation had earlier entered into some contracts with Brunei, in which the latter required the firm to create jobs and train human resources for it.

However, this country has eased its requirements, making it more attractive.

PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation used to export oil rigs to Brunei, Nam told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper ahead of the meeting.

During the talks with the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who concurrently serves as the Prime Minister and Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Finance and Economy of Brunei, PM Chinh suggested specific solutions to boost the two countries’ cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

He expected Brunei to continue creating conditions for Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group to provide oil drilling and technical services in Brunei and introduce oil exploration projects to the Vietnamese firm.

In return, Vietnam will extend a contract to buy crude oil from Brunei in 2023 and the following years.

In addition, Brunei can take advantage of Vietnam’s strengths in agriculture. Meanwhile, Brunei will be a supplier of fertilizers to Vietnam.

Vietnam’s agricultural products can be used in Brunei’s Halal food industry, in which food products meet Muslim standards.

If Vietnamese farm produce can enter Brunei, it will be a great opportunity for Vietnam's agriculture.

PM Chinh said Vietnam has abundant material resources for Halal food but is not strong in producing these products. However, Vietnam can transport the materials to Brunei.

Therefore, the Vietnamese government leader suggested the Brunei Sultan foster the two countries’ cooperation in this field.

On Saturday, PM Chinh and his spouse also visited the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), where the Vietnamese language is taught. As many as 71 students of the university have registered to learn Vietnamese.

A UBD representative told Tuoi Tre that Vietnamese has been taught at the university since last year.

“UBD decided to teach Vietnamese as it is one of the representing languages of ASEAN," the representative said.

"Furthermore, Vietnamese has become popular among Brunei young people.”

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Thanh Ha - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News


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