U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J. Matthews delivering his welcoming remarks during the 243rd Independence Day of the United States celebrations held at the Royal Berkshire Hall at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club on 03/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The Embassy of the United States of America yesterday held a dinner reception to celebrate the country’s 243rd Independence Day in a joyous occasion carrying the theme “People-to-People Connections”.

The event which was held at the Royal Berkshire Hall of Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong highlighted on the professional, educational and cultural ties between Bruneians and Americans.

US Ambassador to Brunei Matthew J Matthews in his welcoming speech emphasised that it is the connections that energise and create the special meaning in the growing relationship between both countries.

Guests during the 243rd Independence Day of the United States celebrations held at the Royal Berkshire Hall at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club on 03/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“We are happy to offer visa-free travel to our tourists and business people to encourage greater understanding of each other’s culture and creating new opportunities for trade and investment between our two nations,” said Matthews.

This year also marked the 35th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Brunei and the United States in the modern era, relations that now encompass cooperation across a full range of diplomatic, economic and security issues.

Minister of Education, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman being presented with a token of appreciation from U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J. Matthews during the 243rd Independence Day of the United States celebrations held at the Royal Berkshire Hall at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club on 03/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“We are also actively expanding the creative sharing of ideas through our educational exchanges and joint research programmes,” he said.

He further added that over the last years, Bruneian students and professionals have explored a wide range of issues in the US including entrepreneurship, energy policy, tourism and public health.

Prior to dinner, national anthems of both countries were sung by Shana Holmes, a student from Jerudong International School, echoing throughout the majestic hall.

Ambassador Matthews then presented a memento from the State University of New York at Albany to the education minister YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Hamzah Hj Sulaiman who earned his master’s degree at the university.

Visitors viewing a collaboration project between UBD and Virginia Tech students during the 243rd Independence Day of the United States celebrations held at the Royal Berkshire Hall at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club on 03/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

YB Dato Hj Hamzah had the opportunity to visit a special exhibition displayed at the venue, showcasing on Bioinspired Sensing Technologies – a collaborative project between Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US.

The reception was attended by Brunei government officials, members of the diplomatic community, business executives, US exchange programme alumni and other invited guests.

BRUNEI – MUARA | The Bruneian

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