ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE PARTNERSHIP
BETWEEN THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
AND BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
ON THE OCCASION OF THE STATE VISIT OF
HIS MAJESTY SULTAN HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH MU’IZZADDIN
WADDAULAH, THE SULTAN AND YANG DI-PERTUAN
OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
TO THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
1. At the invitation of His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam paid a State Visit to Viet Nam from 26 – 28 March 2019. The visit was another important milestone that underscored the traditional friendship and close cooperation between the two countries. Both countries looked forward to the strengthening of their friendship with expectations for a higher development level in bilateral relations.
2. During the visit, His Majesty was accorded an official welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace and held bilateral talks with His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a State banquet in honour of His Majesty’s State Visit. On this occasion, His Majesty also had a meeting with His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and paid tribute at President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Martyrs and Heroes.
3. The Leaders expressed happiness that the warm and friendly ties between the two countries have been elevated to a Comprehensive Partnership signifying the commitment of both sides to further strengthen the much-valued relationship for the benefit of the two countries and peoples. The Leaders highlighted that the newly established Comprehensive Partnership will create new momentum to bolster the two countries’ multi-faceted cooperation, with focus on the major areas of political relations, defense and security, trade and investment, energy, education and social cooperation, and people-to-people exchange, as well as other fields of mutual interest, and cooperation within multilateral frameworks.
4. The Leaders witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the use of hotline for information-exchange to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam.
5. The Leaders exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They reaffirmed the great importance of the traditional friendship between Viet Nam and Brunei Darussalam and noted with satisfaction that the two countries are entering a new phase of cooperation given the new emerging opportunities presented by strong economic growth in the region, particularly with the development of the ASEAN Community.
6. Both sides acknowledged the importance of maintaining the momentum of exchanges of visits between officials from both sides at all levels including through the existing Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) to explore opportunities for cooperation in their mutual interests and to further enhance bilateral trust and partnership. The Leaders encouraged closer cooperation between the parliamentary bodies of the two countries and to consider the establishment of the Viet Nam – Brunei Darussalam Friendship Association and Brunei Darussalam – Viet Nam Friendship Association in further promoting the people-to-people links.
7. The Leaders acknowledged the significant progress in defence cooperation, especially through the effective implementation of the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding on Navy Cooperation. Both sides agreed to explore further opportunities to promote concrete cooperation between defence forces, including through the sharing of information, exchanging high-level official visits, establishing new consultation mechanisms. Both sides also agreed to closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral defence forums, particularly those under ASEAN frameworks such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), ADMM Plus, ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Meeting (ACDFM), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
8. The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in public security through the sharing of experiences to combat transnational organized crimes such as illicit drug trafficking, people smuggling, terrorism, cyber-crime, and money laundering. The Leaders expressed determination to commence discussion for agreements on extradition, judicial assistance cooperation, and transfer of sentenced persons.
9. The Leaders agreed to enhance collaboration to facilitate and promote the current balanced and sustainable two-way trade turnover, towards the target of US$500 million by the year 2025, including maximum utilisation of the market access accorded by the free trade agreements for their goods and services, including the potential markets presented in the BIMP-EAGA and Mekong sub-regions, as well as a pro-business environment, strengthening business-to-business links, participation in trade fairs and facilitating the expeditious resolution of challenges faced by businesses in their mutual interest. Both countries are committed to working closely in particular in agricultural sectors such as livestock and crops commodities including poultry, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, fisheries, technical capacity building, and cooperation in halal manufacturing and certification for their enterprises of international standard operating in food production, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals that can be exported to the global Muslim markets.
10. The Leaders are encouraged by the two-way investment and reaffirmed their strong support to mutually increase bilateral investment, especially in government procurement, public services, infrastructure development, smart agriculture, aquaculture, food processing, manufacturing, and energy.
11. The Leaders expressed the hope for the expeditious negotiation and conclusion of the added Protocol for the 2007 Agreement on the Prevention of Double Taxation.
12. Conscious of the importance of information exchanges to address IUU fishing activities, the Leaders looked forward to the implementation of the hotline provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding recently signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam. They also agreed to further enhance maritime cooperation including aquaculture and seafood processing, sharing of experiences and information in law enforcement at sea, cooperation in tackling maritime security challenges to ensure maritime safety and freedom of navigation.
13. The Leaders agreed to enhance collaboration among educational institutions through students and teachers exchanges, joint research programme and trainings. The Leaders also highlighted the importance of effective implementation of the 2014 Memorandum of Understanding on Education Cooperation and agreed to convene the 2nd Educational Working Group Meeting at the earliest opportunity.
14. The Leaders welcomed the cooperation between PTSC Mechanical and Construction Co., Ltd. and PB Services Sdn. Bhd. following the signing of the Framework Agreement, establishing a strategic collaboration between the parties in relation to Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, and Commissioning (EPCIC) projects in Brunei Darussalam and regionally.
15. The Leaders welcomed the ongoing cooperation in labour and urged the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Viet Nam and the Ministry of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam to work closely towards enhancing labour cooperation in their mutual interest. The Leaders acknowledged the importance of securing local employment for the social interest of the country, hence encouraged Bruneian and Vietnamese companies to promote the employment of locals and their human capacity development. Both sides, subject to national policy requirements, agreed to facilitate working permits for nationals from and into both countries.
16. The Leaders affirmed their commitments to further promote sports, cultural and tourism cooperation through participation in sports and cultural activities, regional and international tourism events, and promotional activities. The Leaders recognised the close geographical proximity between the two countries and agreed there was potential to enhance air connectivity which would facilitate their endeavor for meaningful cooperation and deeper exchanges among the people. The Leaders are also committed to explore and enhance exit/entry facilitation and continue coordinating closely in consular matters regarding their citizens in line with ASEAN’s tradition of friendship and solidarity to further facilitate exchange of delegations and tourists. To this end, both countries agreed to consider expanding visa exemption period for Viet Nam’s ordinary passports from 14 to 30 days, and for diplomatic and official passports from 14 to 90 days.
17. The Leaders exchanged views on various regional and international issues and agreed to continue to work closely in addressing global and regional challenges, including transnational crimes, climate change mitigation, disaster management, the promotion of sustainable development as well as food - water - energy security nexus.
18. The Leaders expressed satisfaction on the excellent cooperation between both countries in regional and international fora, including ASEAN and ASEAN-related mechanisms, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations (UN). Viet Nam expressed appreciation to Brunei Darussalam for its support in the former’s bid to become a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council for the term 2020-2021.
19. The Leaders reiterated their commitment and continued support as well as close cooperation when Viet Nam and Brunei Darussalam serve as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Both sides underlined the importance of maintaining and strengthening solidarity, reaffirmed the importance of maintaining ASEAN centrality and unity in community-building efforts and engagement with external partners. The two countries are committed to working closely together to ensure the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, contributing to peace and stability of the region, promoting regional links and narrowing development gaps. The Leaders also emphasised their support for an ASEAN-centric regional architecture, which is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based.
20. The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea; emphasized the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence and to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Leaders further reiterated the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities by claimants and all other states that could further complicate the situation and escalate tension in the South China Sea.
21. Both sides reaffirmed their support for the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China and were encouraged by the progress of substantive negotiations towards an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) on a mutually agreed timeline.
22. The Leaders reaffirmed the commitment to work together in maintaining an open, inclusive and rules-based multilateral trading system and to successfully conclude a comprehensive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019. The Leaders believed that the conclusion of RCEP would potentially facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment and contribute to global economic growth and development.
23. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the open and candid discussion in the spirit of mutual understanding and friendship, and looked forward to strengthening cooperation in a number of areas of mutual interest. His Majesty expressed his appreciation for the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to the Brunei Darussalam delegation by the State and the people of Viet Nam during the visit and cordially invited His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to visit Brunei Darussalam at a mutually convenient time.
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