The bilateral trade volume between Brunei Darussalam and China grew to US$1.91 billion in 2020, an increase of 72.5 per cent year on year, while Bruneian exports to China surged by 217 per cent.

This was revealed during a media appreciation dinner organised by the embassy recently by the Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Yu Hong who went on to note how both growth rates ranked first among ASEAN nations. 

The foreign envoy explained that in regards to the two-way investment over the same period of the previous year, China’s investment in Brunei soared by 182.8 per cent, being the top among ASEAN nations while China’s assimilation of Brunei’s investment saw a 37.8 per cent rise, securing a second-place among ASEAN nations.

“Economy is the foundation of social development and progress, and the fundamental guarantee of people’s livelihood (and) the year 2020 saw brilliant achievements in the economic and trade cooperation between China and Brunei,” she continued. 

Image: Courtesy of China Embassy

The Chinese ambassador then highlighted the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Brunei, and how during the visit, “the two sides reached an important concensus on advancing bilateral relations”.  

This concensus is believed to lend new opportunities and fresh impetus to China-Brunei cooperation in all fields, including economic and trade, which represents one of the three aspects of China’s efforts in contributing to the global community. 

The remaining two aspects include vaccine cooperation between China and the developing countries and China’s efforts in eradicating poverty. 

“Currently, China has rolled out COVID-19 vaccine programme for people deemed at high risk of contracting the disease,” continued Yu, adding that despite its huge domestic demand, China is ready to work with other countries to carry out international cooperation on vaccines. 

“We also support and assist foreign vaccine companies in manufacturing in China whose vaccines will then be delivered overseas. China and Brunei also have been working closely with each other on vaccines,” she added. 

Image: Courtesy of China Embassy

On Tuesday, China contributed Sinopharm vaccines to the sultanate, underscoring the close bilateral cooperation towards managing the COVID-19 pandemic and reflecting the commitment by both sides towards strengthening partnership in-line with the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations.

This article was first published on February 13, 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 128

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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