His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, will pay an official visit to Thailand from 29 June to 2 July 2012.
The four-day visit is at the invitation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who visited Brunei Darussalam on 10 September 2011, after assuming office as the Prime Minister of Thailand.
On 30 June 2012, the Sultan will be granted an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall within the Grand Palace compound. The official welcoming ceremony will be held in the late evening at Government House, followed by bilateral talks with Prime Minister Yingluck. Major topics of discussion will include agricultural and educational cooperation, especially cooperation in the halal industry. A dinner in honor of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will be hosted by Prime Minister Yingluck at the outer Santi Maitri Building, Government House.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations since 1984. The frequent exchanges of high-level visits in the past 28 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, labor, and the halal industry. They are also close partners in ASEAN and other regional and international fora.
The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam, Mr. Pehin Yaya, paid a visit to Thailand in May 2012, when he was also provided with a chance to attend the World of Halal 2012 in Bangkok.
He said that Brunei Darussalam would like to learn rice production technology from Thailand, as well as methods for processing rice into various products. Brunei Darussalam was told that it could use Thailand as a production base for export to third countries.
Thailand has encouraged production and export of halal products and foods to Muslim consumers around the world. There is potential for Thailand to export more halal food products – and have a greater share of the world food market – considering the country’s strengths in the agricultural sector. In this regard, halal food production has been cited as an area of cooperation that should receive great attention between Thailand and Brunei Darussalam.
In terms of trade cooperation, Brunei Darussalam comes ninth among Thailand’s trading partners in ASEAN. In 2011, trade between the two countries amounted to 269 million US dollars, or 8,150 million baht. Major Thai exports to Brunei Darussalam include rice, cement, ceramics, rubber products, and paper and pulp. Thailand imports mainly iron and steel from Brunei Darussalam.
The upcoming official visit to Thailand by His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam will provide a good opportunity for both countries to further enhance their mutual cooperation.