His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday held a bilateral meeting with Mr William Hague, the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on the sidelines of the Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting, which was held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
It was explained to the Weekend Bulletin via e-mail from the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam that the meeting had entailed discussions on the recent progress in Myanmar along with other foreign policy issues.
Whilst also agreeing that "UK and Brunei relations were flourishing", the ministers, it was added, "looked forward to even closer cooperation between the two countries in the areas of trade and investment and education".
The Foreign Secretary, it also stated, had congratulated HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah on Brunei's decision to recognise Kosovo as an important contributor to stability in the western Balkans.
Meanwhile, in response to questions posed and addressed to Mr Hague by the Weekend Bulletin, it was shared that the UK's high FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) into the Abode of Peace - with recent figures reaching $237.71 million totalling to 63.7 per cent of the country's overall FDI inflow - is a reflection of the UK's "deep involvement in (Brunei's) energy sector".
"We want to build on that, helping Brunei become a full-spectrum knowledge economy," he said.
On increasing the number of staff at several British High Commissions around the globe by 2015, including in Brunei and other Asean countries as announced by Mr Hague during his lecture at the IISS Fullerton Lecture Series in Singapore, the Foreign Secretary also shared that the UK recognises that "Asean is the sum of important constituent parts" and that the EU member is looking towards developing "good bilateral relations with all (Asean) member states".
"We are determined to commit the time and efforts required for that."
Touching on the London 2012 Olympics, which has been pegged worldwide as 'The Greatest Show on Earth', he said that it will be "done with great attention to details and determination to leave a lasting legacy for future generations".
In a recent interview, Rob Fenn, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, had also shared his views on the Sultanate's international efforts, expressing that the government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, "can be very proud of what they have achieved in the Asean-EU relations".
"The presence of the EU foreign ministers or their representatives, an impressive group of European politicians who made the trip to Brunei, says a lot about Europe's respect for this part of the world and ambition to do more with Asean."
- Borneo Bulletin
(28 April 2012)