Boost for Brunei-Thai ties
Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is expected to meet His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand at the Chakri Maha Prasart Throne Hall of the Grand Palace during the monarch's official visit to Thailand from June 29 to July 2, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand said yesterday.

His Majesty will hold bilateral discussions with Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, on areas of cooperation, particularly agriculture, education and Halal industry.

Dinner in honour of His Majesty will be hosted by the Prime Minister of Thailand at the Outer Santi Maitri Building, Government House.

The visit is at the invitation of Ms Yingluck Shinawatra who made an official visit to Brunei Darussalam on September 10, 2011.

Brunei Darussalam and Thailand have enjoyed diplomatic relations since the country gained its independence in 1984.

The frequent exchanges of high-level visits in the past two years have helped expand cooperation between the two countries. Both sides are keen to expand and deepen cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy, education, labour and the Halal industry.

On her first official overseas trip to Brunei last September after assuming office, the Thai Premier said Brunei was interested in importing more Thai Jasmine rice.

Brunei is also willing to work with the Thai Government in the exchange of knowledge and technology as well as expand cooperation in other areas, including in education, medical services and agriculture, Ms Yingluck said.

Brunei Darussalam is the ninth largest Southeast Asian trade partner of Thailand.

The value of trade between Thailand and Brunei Darussalam last year was estimated at 269 million US dollars.

Thai exports to Brunei include rice, transformers and parts, cement, ceramics, rubber products and paper. The products that Thailand imports from Brunei include oil and other products. - Borneo Bulletin (23 June 2012)