Malaysia, Brunei Renew Commitment To Cooperation

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug 5 (Bernama) — Malaysia and
Brunei on Wednesday renewed their commitment to further strengthen
close bilateral relations and cooperation, including in trade and

Following a four-eyed meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei at the
13th annual consultation here, Malaysia applauded Brunei’s proposal to
establish joint committees to facilitate and create a conducive
environment towards promoting cooperation.

“Both leaders expressed pleasure in Brunei’s interest to
participate in the economic corridors in Malaysia and recognised the
potential for increased cooperation between both countries, especially
in Sabah and Sarawak, in such areas as agriculture, halal products and
palm oil production,” said a joint statement issued to Malaysian
journalists at the conclusion of the closed-door annual meeting at the
Istana Nurul Iman, here.

The annual consultation also saw the signing of an Avoidance of
Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) to facilitate greater bilateral
economic collaboration, including in energy-related activities.

Under the treaty, the maximum rates of withholding tax are 10 per
cent respectively on dividends, individual or company, royalties and
fees for technical services.

The two leaders also underscored the significance of continuing
cooperation in the transportation sector to further promote trade and
investment linkages as well as tourism between both countries,
including in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean
Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

In expressing satisfaction with current efforts to promote
tourism, particularly between Brunei and Sabah as well as Brunei and
Sarawak, they welcomed the recent code-share agreement between Royal
Brunei Airlines (RBA) and Malaysia Airlines, which underlies their
commitment towards tourism development between the peoples of the two

The joint statement also said that Najib and the sultan reiterated
the significance of the Exchange of Letters, signed on March 16 last
year, over overlapping maritime and land border issues, which marked a
historic occasion for Brunei and Malaysia.

“Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together towards
the expeditious implementation of elements agreed in the document,” it
said, adding that the signing served as a testament to the strong ties
between the two countries in elevating existing friendship and
cooperation to a strategic partnership.

The meeting, which discussed a broad range of regional and
international issues of mutual concern, reaffirmed the need to work
closely in dressing the current global economic crisis and pandemic
diseases, including the Influenza A(H1N1).

In commending the close partnership between the two countries in
promoting peace, security and prosperity in the regional and
international arena, the leaders expressed their satisfaction on the
outcome of the consultation and believed that such a mechanism
strengthened bilateral relations and cooperation.

The Malaysian delegation, led by Najib included International
Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, Foreign Minister
Datuk Anifah Aman, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat,
Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais
Yatim, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed
Yakcop, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Domestic Trade,
Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob and
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman also attended the meeting.

The next annual consultation, the 14th, is scheduled to take place in Malaysia next year.