Energy key to Brunei-Korea ties

National 4 minutes, 2 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said “energy cooperation remains the core of economic engagement” between Brunei and South Korea.

In a titah or royal speech delivered during a state banquet hosted by Korean President Park Geun-hye, the monarch said the two countries enjoy a strong energy partnership spanning more than two decades.

His Majesty also expressed pleasure that the LNG contract with Korea has been extended until 2018, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a press statement.

During the state visit yesterday, the monarch witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements between the governments of Brunei and Korea.

The PMO said His Majesty was most heartened to see the two countries building on their existing achievements in bilateral cooperation by signing three new agreements.

During the state visit to the republic, the monarch together with Korean President Park Geun-hye witnessed the signing of the Agreement of the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.

The agreement was signed by Second Finance Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim, and Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se.

His Majesty and President Park then witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Education by YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdul Rahman and Korean Minister of Education Hwang Woo-yea.

Both heads of states also witnessed the signing of the MoU on Agriculture by the Second Finance Minister at PMO and Korea’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lee Dong-phil. The signing ceremony took place at the Audience Room, Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) in Seoul.

Prior to the signing ceremony, His Majesty and President Park held a bilateral meeting to exchange views on bilateral relations and efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries, as well as matters relating to regional and international affairs of mutual concern.

The meeting was held at the Jipheyon Room of the presidential residence, where the monarch signed the visitors’ book.

An official welcoming ceremony in honour of His Majesty’s state visit also took place at the Cheong Wa Dae yesterday. Upon arrival at the compound, the monarch was greeted by the Chief Protocol of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yoon Yeo-cheol.

At the Yeong Bin Gwan Building, His Majesty was greeted by President Park as they proceeded to the dais. During the ceremony, His Majesty received the Royal Guard of Honour, which was accompanied by the respective national anthems of Brunei and Korea.

The monarch then inspected the Royal Guard of Honour mounted by 170 personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Forces of Korea. Afterwards, His Majesty was introduced to the Korean cabinet ministers, state dignitaries and senior officials. President Park was then introduced to the Bruneian delegation.

Before the ceremony, His Majesty attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Memorial Tower at Seoul National Cemetery to pay respects to fallen soldiers and patriots in remembrance of their sacrifices to protect their country and its people.

The monarch, upon arrival at the Memorial Tower, was greeted by the Seoul National Cemetery’s superintendent Lee Sang-guen and manager Moon Young-san.

His Majesty then walked past a Static Guard mounted by 30 personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force of Korea, followed by the laying of the wreath. Prior to leaving the Memorial Tower, the monarch signed the visitors’ book.

Accompanying the monarch were YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdul Rahman, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, and Minister of Energy at PMO Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar.

Korean Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Cho Won-myung said people and companies can benefit from the signing of the double taxation agreement.

“They can go to Korea or Brunei to study, work or do business. This is the kind of legal framework that supports both sides commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations,” he said.

For the joint venture on agriculture, he said it covers a wide range of areas from exchange and sharing of information, agricultural development to exchange of personnel.

This MoU also includes ways to market the products and how to cultivate much more effectively. Both sides will set up their own committee to review the progress yearly, he said.

The MoU on education is an important tool in accelerating educational cooperation between our countries, he said, adding that it will affect education policies to develop training programmes. With the MoU, students from both sides will enjoy very good opportunities to develop their education and training. – with a report from Rasidah HAB in Busan, South Korea

The Brunei Times