Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah (R) and Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Yu Hong during the donation hand over ceremony. Image: Faza Suraj

The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR) of China donated $100,000 worth of medical supplies to be used by the Ministry of Health (MoH) during the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently affecting the sultanate.

In a handover ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and Economy on Thursday, the donation was presented by the Chinese Ambassador to Brunei, Yu Hong on behalf of the GZAR.

Present to receive the donation was Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah who subsequently passed on the donated equipment to the Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar.

According to a press release by MoFE, the donated medical supplies include 10,000 pieces of N95 surgical face masks, 10,000 pieces of disposable surgeon face masks, 1,000 disposable isolation gowns, 1,000 goggles, 500 Jupiter suits and 250 non-contact forehead thermometers.

In an interview with the media, Hong said that the donation signified the GZAR’s sympathy and support for Brunei Darussalam in combating the COVID-19 virus, commending Brunei’s policy responses in mitigating the spread of the disease.

“The (Brunei) government has done a terrific job in taking quick control of the outbreak, a lot of effective measures have been taken not only in curbing the spread of the coronavirus but also in (maintaining) the economy,” she said.

Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Yu Hong in an interview with the media. Image: Faza Suraj

“We hope that this would continue (because) this is a wish from the people of Guangxi (with) the donation signifying (the GZAR’s) token of love and support (towards the sultanate),” she added.

The foreign envoy went on to say that despite the human and economic impact of the coronavirus, both governments are striving to expand the cooperation between the GZAR and the Brunei government under the Brunei Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGEC) which has been established since 2014.

The BGEC is focused on the development of collaboration between China and Brunei in the fields of investment, trade, services and ICT specifically, while also aiming to strengthen the general relations between the two countries.

In the five years since the BGEC was established, the cooperation has allowed a supply value chain to be developed between Brunei and China together with other countries in the ASEAN region, generating several investment projects.

These projects include Hiseaton Fisheries, Lautan Timur Produk, Guangxi Ruian Logistics Group and the Muara Port Company.

“China was hit by the coronavirus first, and we were the first to recover,” Hong continued.

“We also happen to have the ability to manufacture and produce medical equipment therefore it is our responsibility to provide humanitarian support to other countries during this difficult time,” the ambassador concluded.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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