Brunei, Indonesia working together to promote energy, food security
By Azaraimy HH in Jakarta

Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia are committed to strengthening their traditionally strong bonds towards greater bilateral achievements covering areas including economics, trade and investment, communication, education, defence, culture and people-to-people contacts.

Working together to promote energy security was one of the key issues on the table during His Majesty the Sultan's three-day State Visit, which ended yesterday, especially in oil cooperation where Brunei could offer assistance to Indonesia.

Last year's bilateral trade between the two nations stood at US$1.9 billion, up from US$1.6 billion in 2006.

On the other hand, food security investment has potential opportunities where Indonesia can import rice to the Sultanate.

Indonesia has asked the Sultanate to consider buying their high-tech defence equipment. Brunei has invited Indonesia to consider investments in mutually profitable areas in the Sultanate.

In the joint statement, both leaders were committed to promoting the existing cooperation and create a more attractive and favourable environment for trade and investment, as well as to open up new areas of economic cooperation.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono invited Brunei to increase and expand its investments in the republic, particularly in the Special Economic Zones on the islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun, and in infrastructure and other labour intensive projects with a view to create more employment opportunities.

His Majesty also invited Indonesia to invest in Brunei.

President Bambang Yudhoyono has also requested Brunei to consider procurement of Indonesia's high-tech and strategic products such as CN-235 aircraft, as well as cartridges of various types produced by PT Pindad.

On energy security, the two leaders held discussions on the need to work together to promote energy security. In this regard, the two leaders welcomed the cooperation between Elnusa and Petroleum Brunei to conduct seismic activities in Brunei Darussalam. - Borneo Bulletin (25th April 2008)