First bilateral visit by Indian FM to Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan - India's Minister of External Affairs, S M Krishna, who is expected to meet His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and HRH Princess Hajah Masna, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade today, said his visit to the Sultanate is aimed at taking the level of partnership between the two countries to the next high level and ensure that this relationship grows even closer in all sectors, including trade and investment.
Speaking at a reception at the residence of the Indian High Commissioner L D Ralte in Brunei Darussalam last night, S M Krishna noted that the visit of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to India in 2008 gave a fresh fillip to enlarge India's engagement with the Sultanate, which has traditionally been a closer partner of India in both the regional and international fora.
"His Majesty has also been supportive of India's 'Look East' policy and of our closer integration with Asean," he said, adding that this year marked the 20th anniversary of India becoming a dialogue partner with Asean and the 10th year as a summit partner.
"As we enter the third decade of our engagement with Asean, India is keen to draw a robust and mutually beneficial roadmap for the benefit of the people of the two regions."
Given that Brunei is the partner country for India in Asean and that the Sultanate would also be assuming the Asean chairmanship, S M Krishna said that this would open up "enormous opportunities for both India and Brunei to further consolidate the bilateral engagement, apart from jointly steering regional engagements".
This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian Foreign Minister to Brunei.
According to the Indian High Commission, S M Krishna is in Brunei to reiterate the Indian Government's invitation to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to attend the Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on December 20-21.
Earlier this week, Brunei's Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, and India's Union Tourism Minister S K Sahai, held a meeting in New Delhi, where they agreed to explore the possibilities of joint venture investment in the field of hotel industry and infrastructural development, Bernama reported.
Brunei will also consider investing in India's hotel sector, which has been opened up for 100 per cent foreign direct investment. It was also decided in the meeting that tour operators and travel agents of both countries may cooperate and explore the possibilities for promoting package tours in either of the countries.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin