Belt and Road cooperation to boost brighter future of Brunei-China ties

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing, China from today until April 27.

The monarch will join representatives from over 100 countries and international organisations at the event, including around 40 heads of state and government and several heads of international organisations.

In an official statement, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong said the forum, themed ‘Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future’ this year, “will see China, as the host country, together with the other participants take stock of what has been achieved thus far, and drawing a blueprint and enriching the vision for future cooperation”, adding that “priorities will be identified and cooperation mechanisms will be strengthened in order to make concrete progress towards quality cooperation with the goal of further enriching the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation”.

The Chinese ambassador highlighted that the BRI, as part of a significant move China has taken to fully open itself, follows the sound principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits and has become the most welcomed global public good and the largest platform for international cooperation.

Since it was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, a total of 126 countries including Brunei Darussalam and 29 international organisations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. The “circle of friends” under the BRI has been growing ever bigger, which represents the commitment of the international community to multilateralism and an open global economy, Yu Hong said.

The ambassador noted that the BRI focusses on development by enhancing all-round connectivity, and has helped countries concerned in their efforts to implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has helped boost global growth.

Within its framework, the BRI cooperation has created over 240,000 jobs, over USD80 billion in accumulated investments, more than USD2 billion in tax revenues, and over USD6,000 billion in trade volume, she said, also adding that the BRI “will contribute at least an increase of 0.1 percentage point to global economic growth in 2019”.

Ambassador Yu Hong said that Brunei Darussalam is China’s “friendly neighbour across the sea” as well as an important link along the ancient maritime Silk Road, noting that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of its relations with Brunei.

“Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1991, China and Brunei have deepened political mutual trust, steadily advanced practical cooperation, supported and collaborated with each other on regional as well as international issues,” she said.

“China-Brunei trade volume increased by 86 per cent last year. This growth speed is fastest among China and ASEAN member countries. The Hengyi Pulau Muara Besar Petrochemical Project, the biggest Chinese investment in Brunei, is undergoing smoothly and will contribute to the diversification of Brunei’s economy.”

The ambassador also high-lighted President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Brunei last November, when he and His Majesty “upgraded the two countries’ bilateral relations to a Strategic Cooperative Partnership and witnessed the signing of a cooperation MoU for the Bilateral Plan on Jointly Promoting Cooperation within the Frame-work of the BRI, which charts the course for the bilateral cooperation between the two countries”.

“As China is working for the ‘two centenary goals’ of national development and Brunei is pursuing Vision 2035, China will continue to work with Brunei to enhance political mutual trust, strengthen development strategy docking, build key cooperation projects, expand practical cooperation areas and explore new cooperation growth points,” she added.

“China and Brunei will work together within the BRI framework, and I believe His Majesty’s successful visit to China and attendance at the BRF will further promote the cooperation between our two countries, creating a better future for our two peoples.”