Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
October 17, 2016
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah hosted a State Dinner for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and members of the Philippine delegation at the Royal Banquet Hall inside the Istana Nurul Iman.
In his statement, the Sultan said that the visit of President Duterte reaffirms the long-standing friendship between the Philippines and Brunei. Sultan Bolkiah also congratulated the Chief Executive for having been elected president in the May 2016 national election.
“We, in Brunei, admire your personal achievements as the Mayor of Davao in making the city business-friendly and attaining impressive economic growth. I am confident that under your leadership, Davao’s success will be replicated throughout the Philippines and bring inclusive growth to your people,” His Majesty said, adding that the government of Brunei very much appreciates the efforts of the 23,000 Filipinos in the country who have contributed in the development of Brunei’s economy.
Moreover, the Sultan mentioned the outstanding defense cooperation of the two countries. He said that since 2004, the Philippines and Brunei have worked closely together in promoting peace and stability in Mindanao. Aside from this, the two nations would continue to team up under the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) for the sub-region’s growth and development, including the nurturing of its micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Lastly, Sultan Bolkiah congratulated and extended Brunei’s support to the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2017, and conveyed his nation’s wishes to President Duterte and the Filipino people for lasting peace, happiness and prosperity.
On the part of the Philippines, President Duterte expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome shown by His Majesty and the people of Brunei during his visit.
The President said, “Your sincere hospitality reaffirms the esteemed friendship that is always deeply valued. We will continue to work closely to maintain the excellent ties between our nations and peoples.”
President Duterte added that the cooperation between the Philippines and Brunei for the past 32 years would continue to be reinforced for the mutual benefits of the two nations.
“In store for us are many opportunities to further strengthen our partnership – in trade and investments, in politico-security cooperation, in the peaceful settlement of disputes, in bringing just and lasting peace to Mindanao, and in building a stronger ASEAN,” the President added.
President Duterte also thanked His Majesty for his role in ensuring excellent relations between the two countries, both at the policy and personal level. He also mentioned Brunei’s ready and timely assistance to the Philippines in times of calamities.
“With the deep well of goodwill between our nations and peoples, I reiterate the resolve and commitment to value, protect and nurture our very special ties,” President Duterte said as he ended his statement.
* * *