1. At the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, paid an Official Visit to Brunei Darussalam on 21-23 April 2019.
2. An official bilateral meeting led by the two Leaders took place in a cordial and friendly atmosphere at Istana Nurul Iman on 22 April 2019. His Majesty warmly welcomed the timely visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, which coincides with the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The Hon’ble Prime Minister expressed sincere gratitude to His Majesty for extending the invitation to visit Brunei Darussalam.
3. The Leaders exchanged views on their bilateral relations and encourage both sides to explore ways to strengthen their cooperation to elevate the relationship to new heights. The Leaders expressed satisfaction on the friendly and long-standing relations between their two countries and reaffirmed their commitments to continue capitalising potentials emanating from the existing complementarities of two economies for the mutual benefits.
4. Brunei Darussalam acknowledged the success of Bangladesh in the food and agricultural sector and welcomed collaboration with Bangladesh in agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, and livestock sectors. Both sides will explore potential bilateral trade in agricultural and food products, and collaboration in farming and agro-processing taking into account respective national development priorities.
5. The Leaders acknowledged the potentials in enhancing bilateral trade and encouraged active exchanges between their local business people to enhance and explore collaboration and partnership to synergise their respective strengths for maximising export opportunities. The Leaders will actively consider the possibility of a preferential trade arrangement under appropriate mechanism and to conduct a joint feasibility study to this effect.
6. The Leaders recognised the potential for investments and will encourage the promotion of reciprocal investments between the two countries in their mutual interest, particularly in sectors such as food processing, energy, ICT, ship-building, manufacturing, tourism infrastructure, blue economy and the jute industry. Brunei Darussalam expressed interest to explore participation in the global halal food market by taking advantage of the special economic zones of Bangladesh and the proven expertise of Brunei in halal food industry.
7. Given the growing demand of energy in Bangladesh to support the rapid economic growth, both sides agreed to explore the possibility of comprehensive collaboration in the energy sector via a Government-to-Government (G2G) arrangement including liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply to Bangladesh as well as the participation of both public and private sectors; covering areas such as investments and trade in petro-chemicals, offshore oil and gas exploration, technical collaboration, and capacity building. The Leaders agreed to encourage the relevant agencies from both sides to continue discussions to identify specific areas and modalities of cooperation in this sector.
8. Both sides will, subject to mutual agreement and capacity requirement, further strengthen cooperation in the health sector such as training and recruitment of healthcare professionals, manufacturing and trade in pharmaceuticals, as well as collaboration in specialised healthcare services.
9. Both sides encouraged closer cooperation among the financial institutions of the two countries to enhance the operation of financial services for effective facilitation of bilateral trade and exchanges.
10. The Leaders expressed satisfaction over existing cooperation and engagements among the defence forces of the two countries in mutually beneficial areas including personnel training. Both sides will encourage deeper cooperation in defence particularly in capacity building, knowledge sharing, peace-building and humanitarian operations.
11. The Leaders acknowledged the valuable contributions of expatriate workers in the economic development of both sending and receiving states and in this regard, encouraged their officials to explore the possibility of negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Cooperation with consultation mechanism.
12. Recognising the importance of people-to-people exchanges in the strengthening of bilateral relations, the Leaders agreed to continue efforts to foster wider and deeper collaboration among the academic institutions through visits, training programmes, student and staff mobility, information exchange, and research and development. The two sides agreed to actively consider improving the connectivity between the two countries and welcomed for an early signing of the Air Services Agreement.
13. The Leaders welcomed the convening of the First Foreign Office Consultation in Dhaka on 9 September 2018 and looked forward to the Second Foreign Office Consultation in Bandar Seri Begawan in 2020. The Leaders encouraged frequent exchanges of officials at all levels to strengthen existing cooperation and to explore new potential areas for cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
14. The Hon’ble Prime Minister congratulated His Majesty on the commendable progress of Brunei Darussalam under His Majesty’s visionary leadership that had also contributed to preserving the peace, stability and prosperity of Brunei Darussalam. The Hon’ble Prime Minister also commended His Majesty for the significant achievements in the implementation of Brunei Darussalam’s strategic national development policies under Wawasan 2035.
15. His Majesty commended the Hon’ble Prime Minister on Bangladesh’s remarkable economic development growth and outstanding achievements in the social sectors under her prudent leadership. His Majesty also congratulated Bangladesh for successfully fulfilling the eligibility criteria set by the United Nations to be elevated and recognised as a developing country.
16. His Majesty acknowledged the contributions of the Government of Bangladesh under the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to global peace, migration, environment protection, development, and humanitarian operation as well as their wide participation in the United Nations-led peacekeeping missions.
17. Brunei Darussalam acknowledged Bangladesh’s humanitarian assistance and repatriation initiatives for 1.1 million displaced persons from the Rakhine State, temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh. Brunei Darussalam commended Bangladesh humanitarian gesture and generous assistance as well as the efforts towards their safe, dignified, voluntary, and sustainable repatriation. Bangladesh appreciated the continued invaluable support and contribution of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam including financial assistance and provision of critical medical and health assistance to the field hospital in Cox’s Bazar.
18. The two sides agreed to further deepen cooperation in the regional and international fora including the United Nations; the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the Commonwealth and the ASEAN Regional Forum on issues of common interest and concerns including extremism, terrorism, environmental protection; and sustainable development. Both sides agreed to work together to promote a rules-based framework, peace, stability, and prosperity of the region and the world. Both Leaders acknowledged Bangladesh’s continued interest to strengthen its relations with ASEAN and agreed that there is much potential in developing cooperation that can be mutually beneficial.
19. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the people of Brunei Darussalam for according a warm welcome and generous hospitality to her and the entourage. The Hon’ble Prime Minister extended an invitation for His Majesty to visit Bangladesh at the earliest convenient time.
20. The Leaders witnessed the signing of six Memoranda of Understanding in the areas of scientific and technical cooperation in agriculture; fisheries; livestock; supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG); youth and sports; and culture and arts. The Leaders also welcomed the Exchange of Notes on the visa waiver arrangement for diplomatic and official passports for both countries. The two Leaders expressed conviction that these bilateral instruments will take the relationship between the two countries to new heights in the future.