Brunei Update: October 9, 2018

Brunei Update | October 9, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Artha Sirait and Bryan Yeoh
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
Oct 30-31 Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Singapore: The US-ASEAN Business Council is now registering senior-level executives for its Business Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Singapore. The mission will take place Tuesday, October 30, to Wednesday, October 31, and will consist of bilateral meetings with ASEAN Energy Ministers and relevant AMEM Dialogue Partners. Deadline for registration is Oct 16. Click here to register
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Two Key Ministries Renamed

On September 19, Brunei announced the renaming of two key ministries via a statement broadcast on Radio Television Brunei’s news bulletin. The trade portfolio has been removed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, now known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2005, the International Relations and Trade Department of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources was merged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Finance is now the Ministry of Finance and Economy, which includes the international trade portfolio.

The renaming of the ministries also comes with reshuffling of officials within and between Ministries. Dr. Awang Abdul Manaf Hj Metussin, who was previously permanent secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism has now been promoted to Deputy Minister of Finance (Economy). Minister of Finance and Economy II, Amin Liew, is assuming an additional role in the Prime Minister’s Office. Liew is now the second cabinet-level minister at the PMO, alongside Dato Abdul Mokti. Both ministers are subordinate to the Crown Prince, who serves as Senior Minister at the PMO, and the Sultan, who is the Prime Minister. It remains unclear how PMO responsibilities will be divided between Liew and Mokti. The new appointment makes Liew, who added trade to his portfolio at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, one of Brunei’s most influential officials in both the international and domestic arenas.

Other changes are as below:

  • Permanent secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pg Hjh Zety Sufina Pg Dato Paduka Hj Sani, has been appointed as permanent secretary (Performance and Corporate) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
  • Deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Hj Khairuddin Hj Abdul Hamid, has been appointed permanent secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
  • Deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Hjh May Faezah Hj Ahmad Ariffin, has been appointed permanent secretary (Economy) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
  • Deputy permanent secretary (Administration and Finance) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hj Adanan Hj Mohd Jaafar, has been appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
  • Acting director of protocol, Pg Hj Saiful Rizal Pg Hj Sazali, has been appointed deputy permanent secretary (Administration and Protocol) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Acting director of administration, Pg Indera Jaya Pg Hj Shamsu, has been appointed deputy permanent secretary (Security and ICT) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Director of the Department of Asia-Africa, Hjh Norazlianah Hj Ibrahim, has been appointed as deputy permanent secretary (International Organisations) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Acting director of the Department of Politics, Pg Norhashimah Pg Mohd Hassan, has been appointed deputy permanent secretary(Political) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Senior special duties officer at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Pg Kamalrudzaman Pg Hj Mohd Ishak, has been appointed permanent secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
  • Director of Fisheries at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Hj Halidi Hj Mohd Salleh, has been appointed as deputy permanent secretary at the Primary Resources and Tourism.
  • Deputy permanent secretary (International Organisations) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hj Mohd Yusra Hj Mohd Salleh, has been transferred to the Ministry of Religious Affairs as senior special duties officer.
  • Deputy permanent secretary (Politics) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hjh Mardiana Hj Omar, has been transferred to the Ministry of Development as senior special duties officer.
  • Deputy permanent secretary (Trade) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hjh Nor Ashikin Hj Johari, has been transferred to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as senior special duties officer.

Brunei-South Korea Defense Pact

On September 13, Brunei and South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defense Cooperation on the sidelines of the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) 2018. While the full text of the MoU is not publicly available, Brunei’s Ministry of Defense noted that the inking of the MoU reaffirmed Brunei and South Korea’s longstanding defense relations and focuses on a range of areas within defense collaboration. Past Brunei-South Korea security interactions have included visits of South Korean naval vessels and multilateral joint exercises. This year’s SDD forum also included the latest round of South Korea-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Talks. As the current country coordinator for ASEAN-South Korea Dialogue Relations, Brunei is expected to experience an increase in cooperation with South Korea in light of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations next year.

Brunei and South Korea first established diplomatic relations on June 1, 1984 following Brunei’s independence from the United Kingdom. Bilateral relations between both countries have primarily focused on economic and people to people ties. Currently, South Korea is Brunei’s second largest export partner (US$ 993 mil) and fifth largest import partner (US$ 293 mil). South Korean companies are involved in a variety of sectors. South Korean company, Dealim, is involved in the construction of the Temburong Bridge project and the Sungai Kebun Bridge. The halal and tourism industries continue to be major points of interest for South Korean companies. South Korea’s interest in supporting SMEs have coalesced in the establishment of the SME and start-up ministry. Both Brunei and South Korea regularly send students for cultural exchange programs to strengthen people-to-people ties. With President Moo Jae-in’s “New Southern Policy”, Brunei’s close relations with South Korea will allow them to continue its push for economic diversification.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
China-Brunei relationship ‘stronger than ever’
Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy’ to further boost ties with Brunei

National Affairs
Brunei to introduce measures to control water wastage: minister
Brunei on track to address NCDs: Health Minister
Brunei Darussalam's second minister of finance and economy gets added role
Brunei moves up in HDI

Defense & Security
Defense Meeting Spotlights UK-Brunei Military Ties
Russian security chief to hold consultations in Brunei
Bruneian naval ship visits Vietnam 
What’s in the New Brunei-South Korea Defense Pact?
Military Drills Put UK-Brunei Defense Ties in the Spotlight

Economics
Brunei to record 2pc GDP growth: ADB
AMBD releases Brunei’s RPPI for Q2

Food & Agriculture
Bruneihalalfoods undeterred by exporting challenges
Foreign vessel apprehended for illegal fishing in Brunei: government 
Take your F&B products international with HACCP and ISO 22000
Brugoat makes Brunei's first live goat supply to Sarawak
Jobseekers, youths encouraged to start vertical farming

ICT
Digitalising Brunei
New products to improve postal service in Brunei
'Local organisations need vastly improved cybersecurity'
Brunei introduces hotline to address fake news on social media 
Korudein to develop online platform for QAF Auto
More than 2,000 cybersecurity attacks in Brunei last year

Manufacturing
Alfa Romeo to return to Brunei market

Travel & Tourism
RB poised to fly to greater heights
Brunei introduces direct flights to more Chinese cities
Brunei registers 3rd fastest tourist arrivals growth in Southeast Asia
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

China-Brunei relationship ‘stronger than ever’ Borneo Bulletin Online 30th Sep 2018
The relationship between China and Brunei Darussalam is currently going very well and is primed for further progress in the years to come.

Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy’ to further boost ties with Brunei Borneo Bulletin Online 27th Sep 2018
The bilateral relationship between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Korea (ROK) looks set to further strengthen under the ‘New Southern Policy’, the new Korean initiative which aims to elevate the ASEAN-ROK partnership to a much higher level of shared values and interests.

National Affairs

Brunei to introduce measures to control water wastage: minister Xinhua 2nd Oct 2018
Brunei will introduce new measures to control its enormous water wastage, the country's Minister of Development Haji Suhaimi said.

Brunei on track to address NCDs: Health Minister Borneo Bulletin Online 29th Sep 2018
The Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar headed the Brunei Darussalam delegation that attended high-level meetings on the fight against tuberculosis (TB) and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), held on September 26 and 27 respectively during the 73 Session of United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

Brunei Darussalam's second minister of finance and economy gets added role Asia Asset Management 27th Sep 2018
The Brunei Darussalam government has expanded the Cabinet portfolio of Dr. Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, its second minister of finance and economy, to include the position of minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

Brunei moves up in HDI Borneo Bulletin Online 23rd Sep 2018
Brunei Darussalam has gone up in ranks in terms of its people’s life expectancy, standard of living and knowledge status, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index published this week.

Defense & Security

Defense Meeting Spotlights UK-Brunei Military Ties The Diplomat 2nd Oct 2018
On September 27, Britain and Brunei held another iteration of their Joint Defense Committee meeting.

Russian security chief to hold consultations in Brunei TASS 2nd Oct 2018
Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev is due to visit Brunei on October 1 to hold consultations on security issues, the press service of the Russian Security Council said.

Bruneian naval ship visits Vietnam  Xinhua 2nd Oct 2018
A vessel of the Royal Brunei Navy arrived at Tien Sa Port in Vietnam's Da Nang on Tuesday, beginning a three-day friendship visit to the central city.

What’s in the New Brunei-South Korea Defense Pact? The Diplomat 18th Sep 2018
Last week, officials from Brunei and South Korea inked a new defense pact. The move put the focus on the ongoing efforts by both sides to boost the security aspect of the bilateral relationship amid wider domestic and regional changes.

Military Drills Put UK-Brunei Defense Ties in the Spotlight The Diplomat 18th Sep 2018
The UK and Brunei recently held another iteration of a key amphibious exercise between their two militaries.

Economics

Brunei to record 2pc GDP growth: ADB Borneo Bulletin Online 29th Sep 2018
Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic growth (GDP) looks set to outperform forecasts made earlier this year, Asia Development Bank (ADB) said.

AMBD releases Brunei’s RPPI for Q2 Borneo Bulletin Online 29th Sep 2018
Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), in a press release issued a Brunei Darussalam’s Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for the second quarter of 2018.

Food & Agriculture

Bruneihalalfoods undeterred by exporting challenges The Scoop 1st Oct 2018
The company behind the Bruneihalalfoods brand is still facing challenges to export their products, but said that it will continue to liaise with relevant ministries to fast track the process of supplying to international markets.

Foreign vessel apprehended for illegal fishing in Brunei: government  Xinhua 28th Sep 2018
A foreign fishing vessel conducting illegal fishing activities in Brunei waters about 130 nautical miles from the coast of Brunei was apprehended by the Royal Brunei Navy, the country's Ministry of Defense said on Friday.

Take your F&B products international with HACCP and ISO 22000 Biz Brunei 28th Sep 2018
Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) is inviting food and beverage manufacturers looking to penetrate local and international markets to join its new Standards Consultancy Programme (SCP).

Brugoat makes Brunei's first live goat supply to Sarawak Biz Brunei 18th Sep 2018
Brugoat Farming and Trading is targeting exporting livestock to East Malaysia after successfully completing Brunei’s first live supply of 100 boer goats to Bintulu, Sarawak last year.

Jobseekers, youths encouraged to start vertical farming The Scoop 15th Sep 2018
The government wants more youths to start vertical farming in order to supply domestic market demand and replace Brunei’s ageing farmers.

ICT

Digitalising Brunei The ASEAN Post 2nd Oct 2018
One of the key components of Brunei Vison 2035 is the application of Information Technology (IT) throughout the country. This is carried out through the Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020 which is in line with ASEAN’s digitalisation process.

New products to improve postal service in Brunei Borneo Bulletin Online 30th Sep 2018
The Postal Services Department of the Ministry of Communications is making efforts to improve the quality of the department’s services and products.

'Local organisations need vastly improved cybersecurity' The Scoop 26th Sep 2018
Local companies must be better aware of their vulnerability to cyberattacks, said the head of the Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT). 

Brunei introduces hotline to address fake news on social media Xinhua 25th Sep 2018
People in Brunei are now encouraged to channel fake or malicious information circulated on social media to a hotline, according to the Brunei government on Tuesday.

Korudein to develop online platform for QAF Auto Biz Brunei 23rd Sep 2018
IT startup Korudein have signed with QAF Auto to build their first website for their used cars arm which will catalogue their stock and enable prospective customers to engage with sales representatives..

More than 2,000 cybersecurity attacks in Brunei last year The Scoop 10th Sep 2018
A total of 2,143 cybersecurity attacks were recorded in Brunei last year, signaling a lack of security awareness, said the head of the Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT).

Manufacturing

Alfa Romeo to return to Brunei market Borneo Bulletin Online 30th Sep 2018
In light of the recent development, GHK Motors Sdn Bhd is set to bring the Alfa Romeo brand back to Brunei soon, a press statement said.

Travel & Tourism

RB poised to fly to greater heights Borneo Bulletin Online 29th Sep 2018
National carrier Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) is poised to expand its business to greater heights following an overhaul of its entire business pillars that sees enhanced fleet of aircrafts, customer appeal and networks through new markets.

Brunei introduces direct flights to more Chinese cities Khmer Times 23rd Sep 2018
Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), the sultanate’s national carrier announced Saturday that it will commence direct flights to two more Chinese cities here.

Brunei registers 3rd fastest tourist arrivals growth in Southeast Asia Xinhua 8th Sep 2018
Brunei has registered an increase of 18.3 percent in the number of tourist arrivals to the country through Brunei International airport in 2017, the third fastest growth in Southeast Asia.