Setting the stage for an enhanced partnership, Thailand and Brunei have resolved to broaden their bilateral collaboration. This collaboration encompasses burgeoning sectors of trade and investment, while concurrently focusing on bolstering the Asean objective of regional economic growth and amalgamation. This development came to light during an official visit to Brunei by Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
Prime Minister Srettha had the honor of an audience with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, the foremost senior leader within the Asean. Srettha revealed that the conversation revolved around existing areas of bilateral collaboration and explored new avenues for such cooperation.
Breaking new ground in bilateral cooperation, Srettha highlighted that both nations are eager to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their robust diplomatic ties in the coming year. A significant new area of cooperation between Thailand and Brunei, according to Srettha, is promoting food security between the two countries. Notably, Brunei currently sources most of its rice and sugar imports from Thailand.
In further developments, it was agreed upon to extend the Halal food market between the two nations, presenting Thailand with more opportunities to export Halal-certified chicken. Additionally, Srettha expressed his desire to draw a larger number of people from Brunei to Thailand for medical services, leveraging the kingdom’s reputation for offering world-class medical tourism, particularly to customers from the Middle East.
An analysis by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates that in 2022, trade between Thailand and Brunei reached a value of roughly 29 billion baht, signifying a year-on-year growth of 29%.
The spokesperson for the Government, Chai Wacharonke, reported that Srettha invited the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) to consider increasing their investments in Thailand’s high-capacity sectors such as the service industry, tourism, and infrastructure. Areas for further bilateral cooperation in the energy sector were also contemplated and agreed upon.
Srettha acknowledged the rising demand for Thai imports in Brunei, a trend that is inspiring the Thai embassy in Brunei to organize more trade exhibitions featuring Thai products.
To contribute towards Asean’s economic integration objectives, it was concluded that Thailand and Brunei should continue to work hand in hand. In recognition of Srettha’s visit, the Sultan hosted a royal banquet later that evening.
Prime Minister Srettha is expected to land in Malaysia today, where he is set to attend an official welcoming ceremony and engage in discussions with the nation’s leader, Anwar Ibrahim. Following Malaysia, his next destination will be Singapore, where he will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and attend a joint press briefing post an official welcoming ceremony. Before returning to Bangkok on the same day, he will hold conversations with top Singaporean companies.