Kingdom of Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam eye greater cooperation; paths of mutual benefits

Manama, June 8 (BNA): His Majesty Sultan Haj Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, will begin tomorrow, Friday, a two-day visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Sultan of Brunei will meet His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister and senior officials of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The visit comes within the framework of the long-standing bilateral relations, which were further strengthened when diplomatic ties were established in 1988, when both countries opened their embassies, heralding broader cooperation.

The visit of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Bahrain comes within the framework of previous exchange visits at the level of leaders and senior officials.

Indeed, this is the second time that the Sultan of Brunei has arrived in Bahrain, after he made his first visit to the Kingdom in 2004, following the visit of His Majesty the King to the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam in the same year.

The historic visits marked the beginning of a new era of bilateral projects that laid the foundations for future relations and contributed to strengthening joint relations.

In 2017, His Majesty the King paid his second official visit to the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, during which he stressed the importance of building strong and solid relations with the countries of the Asian continent in general, and with the Sultanate of Brunei in particular.

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The official visit of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Bahrain will enhance long-term joint cooperation, and discussions of bilateral meetings.

The two countries have intensified official contacts in recent years, especially on the economic, investment, commercial and logistical levels in light of the joint agreements and memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries.

The bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding that have entered into force include:

o Memorandum of Understanding on enhancing cooperation in the investment and financial sectors, particularly the banking sector and financial services – signed in 2003.

o The agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of financial evasion with regard to taxes on income and capital signed in 2008 and its amending protocol signed in 2012.

o The Agreement on Air Services, Civil Aviation Security and Travel Documents Security signed in 1993.

These agreements and memorandums were not only limited to providing the necessary legal framework to activate bilateral cooperation between the two countries, but also contributed to facilitating the implementation of joint projects agreed upon by the Kingdom of Bahrain with the Sultanate of Brunei, which are considered among the most important projects agreed upon between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Brunei. The strongest and richest economies in the world.

The government, headed by His Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has shown its commitment to providing appropriate conditions for achieving broader economic cooperation and creating an enabling environment to support this cooperation and serve common interests.

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The government’s approach aims to ensure support for joint commercial initiatives, and to protect investments and investors’ rights on both sides, in addition to providing incentives.

The Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam share common denominators that reinforce the already existing ground of cooperation between them.

Apart from belonging to the same continent, they both enjoy a distinct strategic geographical location, given that they are two maritime countries that adopt free trade as a pivotal source in raising the level of the national economy that stimulates growth.

The two countries also play an influential regional role, as they participate in many regional gatherings, such as the strategic dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council and ASEAN countries, whose ministerial meetings Manama hosted in November 2013.

The two countries are also major members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations, in addition to the permanent participation of Brunei Darussalam in the “Manama Dialogue Forum” hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain annually to discuss regional security affairs.

The two countries boast solid experience in leading development paths that ranked them among the world’s leading ranks on the United Nations human development indicators.

The two countries look forward to the visit of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Bahrain as an opportunity that will contribute to further expanding joint relations, and herald broader horizons for bilateral cooperation and coordination of close positions on issues of common concern.

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