JOINT STATEMENT ON THE
17th ANNUAL LEADERS’ CONSULTATION BETWEEN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM AND MALAYSIA
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
8 DECEMBER 2013
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Laila Utama Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, met in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, on 8 December 2013 for the 17th Annual Leaders’ Consultation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.
2. The Consultation was held in a warm and productive atmosphere, signifying the close and excellent relationship between the Governments and peoples of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. Both Leaders welcomed the good progress in bilateral relations since the 16th Annual Leaders’ Consultation on 4 September 2012, and reaffirmed their commitment to deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in areas of common interest.
3. Both Leaders reiterated the significance of the Exchange of Letters signed by the Leaders of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia on 16 March 2009, and reviewed with satisfaction, the progress made in its implementation.
4. The Leaders continued to express satisfaction with the progress made by both sides in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA).
5. The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Heads of Agreement for Gumusut/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus-East Fields to establish a joint development based on a provisional production and cost sharing, and the signing of the Heads of Agreement for Kinabalu West NAG and Maharajalela North Fields to formalise the unitization arrangement and way forward on these straddling fields.
6. The Leaders also recalled their instructions at the 16th Annual Leaders’ Consultation to increase cooperation in Blocks N and Q, downstream industries, Sabah and Sarawak, and in third countries. In this regard, the Leaders expressed satisfaction at the signing of the Production Sharing Agreements for Blocks N & Q for the immediate commencement of exploration work between PetroleumBRUNEI and PETRONAS and also the agreements between PetroleumBRUNEI and PETRONAS in relation to the acquisition of a participating interest of the North Montney assets of Progress Energy Cooperation Ltd and in the Pacific Northwest shale gas to LNG Project in Canada.
7. They also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between PB Services Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of PetroleumBRUNEI) and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (“MMHE”) to enter into a possible joint venture in Brunei Darussalam to provide fabrication services in the oil and gas industry.
8. Both Leaders commended the excellent work of the joint technical teams in the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, and looked forward to the official commencement of the land demarcation as soon as possible. In moving forward, both Leaders called for the sustained commitment of the joint technical teams in expeditiously carrying out their activities, with due emphasis being given to the identified priority areas, with a view to completing the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary within the targeted timeframe.
9. Both Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to deepen economic cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, in particular, with the states of Sabah and Sarawak. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress on the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) in Sabah, and urged officials to work towards the conclusion of the Shareholders’ Agreement between Annam Corporation, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA). Both Leaders noted that the cooperation between Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam in energy, telecommunication, tourism and agriculture sectors have been proceeding well. Both Leaders also encouraged officials from both sides to explore new economic opportunities on a commercial basis.
10. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the significant progress achieved thus far in implementing the Exchange of Letters, and urged that efforts be intensified to enable the conclusion of the other outstanding elements of the Exchange of Letters as well as other issues that are being deliberated by both sides.
11. Both Leaders expressed their utmost pleasure at the successful completion of the Friendship Bridge between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia and commended the hard work and dedication of the Joint Project Teams and all contributing agencies. The Leaders were pleased to officially launch the ‘Jambatan Persahabatan’ and remarked that the bridge reflects the deep and enduring ties between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. Both Leaders hoped that the bridge would significantly ease cross-border travel and create greater opportunities for trade and tourism between both countries. The Leaders looked forward to the signing of the Agreement on the Management Maintenance and Usage of the Bridge Spanning the Pandaruan River.
12. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the excellent progress in bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, finance and banking, energy, defence, health, education, tourism, air services, transportation and communications. The Leaders agreed to maintain the frequent exchanges at all levels and to continue strengthening the consultative mechanisms in these various sectors.
13. Bilateral trade between Brunei Darussalam - Malaysia has increased by 13.9 per cent in 2012. Total trade in 2012 amounted to US$757.1 million. Malaysia welcomed capital investments in projects in Malaysia, especially in the 5 economic corridors through acquisitions and mergers. Malaysia expressed satisfaction with the level of Brunei Darussalam’s investment in Malaysia, particularly through joint ventures in various areas such as infrastructural products, agriculture, oil and gas, and real estate. Brunei Darussalam also welcomed expansion of Malaysia's investments in Brunei Darussalam, including in oil and gas, financing, insurance, real estate and business services. In this context, both sides expressed satisfaction on efforts taken to enhance collaboration to tap into trade and investment opportunities with the deepening of economic integration of the region through the building of the ASEAN Economic Community.
14. Both Leaders commended the proposal to enhance the investment flows between the two countries. In this regard, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Najib expressed appreciation to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for allowing Malaysian companies to participate in the development of infrastructure projects in Brunei Darussalam. Meanwhile, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Najib welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s interest to look into potential collaboration in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley initiatives as well as in the regeneration initiatives of Kampong Bharu, Kuala Lumpur. Both Leaders agreed for the relevant agencies to continue to follow-up on the initiatives.
15. Both Leaders expressed their desire for the continued implementation of the Agreement on Economic Cooperation signed on 2 September 2012 in Kuala Lumpur. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the MOU between Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) and Bank Negara Malaysia on 3 April 2013 towards enhancing cooperation in the financial services sector; and the MOU between AMBD and the Securities Commission Malaysia signed on 29 October 2013 to facilitate mutual efforts in building capital markets and encouraging greater cross-border activities in Islamic capital markets.
16. The Leaders welcomed the signing of the MOU between the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co- operatives and Consumerism of Malaysia on 8 December 2013 to promote and encourage cooperation in the Development of the Cooperative Sector and looked forward to its expeditious implementation. Recognizing the valuable contribution of their respective cooperative sectors in the development of small and medium enterprises, the Leaders encouraged officials to undertake further efforts to promote the participation of young entrepreneurs of both countries through joint venture projects, research as well as training and capacity building activities. The Leaders also noted the efforts from both countries in looking into other areas of co-operation specifically in the field of intellectual property and also business franchise.
17. The Leaders noted with satisfaction the excellent progress made in advancing bilateral cooperation in defence, through the regular exchanges of visits, training courses and military exercises between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the Malaysian Armed Forces. The Leaders welcomed the Official Visit of His Royal Highness Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, to Malaysia on 8 - 13 November 2013 aimed at fostering friendship and understanding as well as towards efforts in further strengthening the excellent and long-standing defence relations.
18. Both Leaders expressed confidence that the MOU for the Embedment of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Element in the Malaysian Contingent to United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), signed on 8 November 2012 in Malacca, will help contribute to peace and stability in that country.
19. His Majesty expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s participation at the 1st ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (ADMM-Plus HADR and MM Ex) held in June 2013 and the 2nd ADMM-Plus held in August 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan. His Majesty also extended appreciation for Malaysia’s continued support and participation in the 4th Brunei International Defence Exhibition (BRIDEX) held on 2 - 7 December 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan.
20. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the ongoing initiatives undertaken to deepen the existing close cooperation in education, which was facilitated by the signing of the MOUs in 1992 and 2010. Both Leaders urged the higher education institutions of both countries to strengthen cooperation in the areas of research, student and faculty exchanges, seminars, public lectures and in the publication of academic material. The Leaders also encouraged further efforts in research and development, leadership training, technical and vocational education and research visits.
21. Both Leaders urged the continued implementation of the Joint Work Plans on Health Cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia to enhance the preparedness of both countries in facing current and emerging challenges in health. The Leaders also encouraged officials to explore potential cooperation in health tourism and the application of ICT in the health sector.
22. The Leaders reiterated the importance of promoting people-to-people interaction and enhancing connectivity between the people of both countries. In this regard, both Leaders welcomed the recent increase in services by Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) to Kuala Lumpur as well as the Agreement signed between RB and Malaysian Airlines (MAS) in June 2013 to operate flights between Bandar Seri Begawan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. The Leaders also welcomed the commencement of MASWings services between Bandar Seri Begawan and Mulu early next year towards efforts in promoting the tourism industries of both countries.
23. The Leaders emphasized the importance of youth exchanges and expressed pleasure with the outcome of the Second Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation Meeting held on 19 June 2013 in Putrajaya, which explored potential cooperation in the field of volunteerism, youth entrepreneurship and sports development. Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Najib looked forward to Brunei Darussalam’s participation at the 2014 Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) in Perlis.
24. The Leaders noted with satisfaction the signing of the Letter of Exchange between the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on 19 June 2013, towards enhancing collaborations in the ICT sector.
25. Both Leaders recognized the importance of continuing cooperation in all sectors and, in the spirit of closer bilateral cooperation, urged relevant authorities of both countries to finalize documents related to the areas of information and communications technology, agriculture, fisheries and taxation.
26. His Majesty expressed his deep sympathy to the people of Malaysia on the recent floods, which affected the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, and Melaka, which had caused the loss of lives, displacement of people and considerable damage to property.
27. Both Leaders shared deep sympathy over the situation in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged central Philippines on 8 November 2013 and affected more than two million people in the country. In this connection, both Leaders agreed to step up regional and international relief efforts to the Philippines.
28. His Majesty expressed his appreciation for Malaysia’s strong support throughout Brunei Darussalam’s chairmanship of ASEAN. In moving forward, both Leaders remarked on the importance of realising a truly “People-Centred” ASEAN as a central element of a Post-2015 vision of ASEAN. In this regard, His Majesty commended Malaysia’s contributions to advancing ASEAN cooperation through, among others, the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. The Leaders also looked forward to working closely together with Myanmar, the incoming Chairman of ASEAN, in realising the ASEAN Community in 2015.
29. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcome of their annual consultation and were encouraged by the steady progress that had been achieved together over the past year. Both Leaders expressed confidence in moving forward and reiterated their commitment to the pursuit of more cooperative opportunities in the future for the mutual benefit of both countries.
30. The Leaders agreed to hold the 18th Annual Leaders’ Consultation in Malaysia in 2014.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
8 December 2013