HM to attend ASEAN-ROK summit
BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA
HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is scheduled to attend the 2014 ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit slated to take place December 11-12.
The summit celebrates the 25 years of dialogue relations between ASEAN and Korea. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Brunei and Korea.
Korean Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Cho Won-myung said His Majesty’s attendance at the summit is a strong momentum to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
The summit, he said, will touch on four areas: political and security; economic cooperation; social, cultural exchange and cooperation, and; regional and international cooperation.
The main focus on regional and international cooperation will be on disaster prevention, including disaster management, and how to respond to climate change.
A statement outlining specific projects to be undertaken will be adopted at the end of the summit on Friday, with focus on these four fields.
Throughout their 30 years of diplomatic ties, Korea and Brunei have cooperated in almost every field, Cho said.
“Economically, we continuously expand our cooperation, for example, the bilateral trade volume has increased nine times since the establishment of our diplomatic relations in 1984. We also keep on strengthening people-to-people exchanges, cultural, education as well as in tourism.
“Besides close bilateral relationship we have been supporting each other in regional and international arena such as ASEAN-Korea cooperation and regional security,” he said.
However, he stressed that there is still room for further cooperation in the future.
“Our people should have enjoyed much more higher level welfare. Therefore, economic cooperation and development is very essential to that end. I would like to see and give much more effort in people-to-people exchange, culture and education,” he said.
Last year, bilateral trade volume between Brunei and Korea stood at more than US$2 billion.
Korea bought about $1.9 billion worth of goods from Brunei and sold $100 million worth of goods to the Sultanate.
Korea imports from Brunei mainly crude oil and liquefied natural gas. Brunei, on the other hand, buys steel, automobiles and IT goods from Korea, said the ambassador.
However, in the field of investment, Cho said the volume was not as big.
Brunei invested US$18 million in Korea, while Korea invested US$12 million in Brunei, he said.
Korea is also fast becoming a popular destination not only for tourism, but also for students to continue their studies.
In the last year, total of 2,000 Bruneians visited Korea while 600 Korean tourists visited the Sultanate.
The ambassador stressed that the statistics are still at “low levels” compared to the potential of future bilateral cooperation.
Both countries offers different advantages for cooperation.
“Brunei has a lot of capital, good environmental and investment conditions such as low electricity and water rates, and stable electricity service. Korea, on the other hand, has economic experience. Our natural resources are limited but Brunei has a lot of natural resources,” he added.
The Brunei Times