Sultan in Korea for summit
By James Kon in Jeju Island, Korea

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday evening arrived in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea to attend the Asean Korea Commemorative Summit, to be held today and tomorrow at the Jeju International Convention Centre.

The Asean Korea Commemorative Summit is the largest meeting that Korea has held since the Europe Asia Meeting (ASEM) in 2000 and APEC in 2005, to mark the 20th anniversary of dialogue relations between Asean and Republic of Korea.

During the summit, His Majesty and other Asean leaders will discuss the development of cooperative relations with Korea over the past years and examine future directions for progress.

In addition, leaders would also discuss methods of overcoming global issues that the international community is currently facing such as the global financial crisis and climate change.

The Korean President Lee Myung-bak will also be meeting His Majesty today morning to discuss current issues and cooperation, especially in energy and joint development of energy resources.

In mid May, when the Korean president met with Asean journalists, he had stressed the importance of Korea's economic ties and said relations with Brunei were not only through importing energy, but also in projects to develop energy resources.

He believed that forming long-term cooperative ties would be very important and will be in the interest of both countries.

Bilateral trade ties between Korea and Brunei last year stood at US$1.8 billion, which has doubled from US$960 million in 2007.

Korea's export to Brunei in 2008 was around US$70 million, which comprised mainly automobiles and electrical appliances. The amount of LNG that Korea imports from Brunei per year is 700,000 tonnes, while the amount of crude oil is 10,550,000 barrels per year.

Over 1.2 per cent of Korea's total consumption of crude oil came from Brunei.

On June 2, His Majesty and other Asean leaders will be touring the Green Asia Growth Exhibition. The exhibition showcases the latest Korean green technology and related products that all Asean countries can easily adapt to lay the foundation for Asean Korea cooperation in green technologies.

This is to help East Asia affirm leadership roles on climate changes in the international community through partnerships and to provide practical opportunities for Korea and Asean to cooperate in the field of green technology.

His Majesty with nine other Asean leaders and the Korean president will sign a joint statement to conclude the summit.

His Majesty was greeted at the Jeju International Airport by Dato Haji Harun bin Hj Ismail, Brunei's Ambassador to Korea with other Korean officials. - Borneo Bulletin (1st June 2009)