S'pore, Brunei reaffirm longstanding ties as Sultan Bolkiah concludes state visit here

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it was good to catch up with the Sultan again. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (centre) visited Sembawang Air Base, with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, on the second day of his two-day visit. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah wrapped up his two-day state visit to Singapore on Thursday (Aug 25), the latest in a series of bilateral exchanges that reaffirm the two countries' special and longstanding relationship.

During the visit, both sides discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of food and medical supply resilience, energy, and the green economy, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said of his call on Sultan Bolkiah, who is on his fifth state visit to Singapore: "We had last met a few weeks ago when I visited Brunei for His Majesty's 76th birthday celebrations. It was good to catch up again and reaffirm our longstanding bilateral relations."

Singapore and Brunei also signed four memorandums of understanding on new areas for collaboration on the sidelines of the state visit, added PM Lee.

An agreement to cooperate on developing public service capacity was signed by Singapore's Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing and Brunei's Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah.

The MOU will offer secondment opportunities for Bruneian civil servants in Singapore ministries and government-linked agencies, as well as participation in training and capacity building programmes in Singapore, said the Public Service Division.

Two of the agreements - one on cooperation in energy and green economy, and the other on strengthening trade and investment cooperation in food and medical products - were signed by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and Datuk Dr Amin, who is also Minister of Finance and Economy II.

Both countries will strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as emerging low-carbon technologies and carbon capture and storage, with the aim of achieving both countries' climate ambitions.

The two countries will also enhance cooperation and strengthen food and medical supply resilience. This includes developing capacity and capability for mutual support in times of crisis, such as by facilitating efficient movement of food and medical products between Singapore and Brunei.

Meanwhile, another MOU on youth education scholarship will support more young Bruneians in studying in Singapore.

Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also hosted Sultan Bolkiah on a visit to the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Sembawang Air Base on Thursday.

During the visit, Sultan Bolkiah took a familiarisation flight on board a helicopter, and viewed a static display of a surface-to-air missile system.

Singapore's MFA said that as fellow small countries, Singapore and Brunei are working together to strengthen their resilience in an uncertain climate,  and the state visit was an excellent occasion for both countries to also build on their traditional pillars of cooperation, including defence and finance.

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