Brunei, Costa Rica ink deals

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI Darussalam and Costa Rica yesterday inked two documents on Framework Cooperation Agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Periodic High Level Consultations, paving the way for deeper ties in various areas.

Representing the Government of Brunei during the signing ceremony at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas was Yang Berhormat Pehin orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and second minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Meanwhile, signing on behalf of the Government of Costa Rica was its Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Manuel A Gonzalez Sanz.

The two documents are for both countries to promote various areas of cooperation including technical, economic, scientific and cultural.

Brunei and Costa Rica formally established diplomatic relations on April 14, 1994.

Speaking to reporters after the signing, the Costa Rican minister said that the relations between his country and Brunei has increased and strengthened during the course of the last six to seven months.

Gonzales noted that in September last year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, held a bilateral meeting with President Luis Guillermo Solis of Costa Rica.

It was previously reported that during the meeting, both leaders discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on various issues, including regional and international matters of mutual concern.

The Costa Rican minister also added prior to that, the then Brunei’s minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade attended the retreat of the seventh East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) in Costa Rica in August last year.

He said that during his visit to the sultanate, he has been discussing commonalities which both countries have.

Eventhough Costa Rica does not produce oil and gas, he said, the country is very well-diversified economy. He went on to say that 30 years ago his country was only exporting four commodities and the country then was hit by a crisis that obligated them to diversify their economy.

“Nowadays, we are able to export about 4,000 products to 160 countries in the world,” he said.

With its experiences in economic diversification, he said, Costa Rica is keen to work together and share best practices with Brunei.

“We are very much willing to learn from each other,” he said, adding that Brunei also has a very important policy to attract foreign direct investments and that is one of the fields in which Costa Rica have also been relatively successful.

He also expressed his country’s keen interest to develop contact and share experiences with Brunei’s agency tasking in economic development to promote investments.

He also wanted to share Costa Rica’s expertise in the renewable energy sector with other countries that want to move into that direction.

“So it’s about learning from each other, cooperating in terms of working together. That’s what cooperation means nowadays.”

While in Brunei, the visiting minister also meets with Brunei’s high ranking officials.

Gonzalez, who is among other accompanied by Costa Rican Ambassador to Korea Rodolfo Solano Quiros, will leave Brunei on Wednesday.

The Brunei Times