Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brunei inks landmark agreements with Vietnam

By James Kon and Sonia K
PHOTOS ABOVE: Minister, Deputy Minister and other officials sign various memorandums of understanding as the Minister of Energy looks on. - PHOTOS: JAMES KON
A slew of agreements were signed yesterday between Vietnam and Brunei marking a new era of enhanced cooperation in trade and economy between the two countries.

One of the five sets of deals inked yesterday afternoon at the Empire Hotel and Country Club was the landmark agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion to taxes on incomes and on capital.

Private sector firms in both countries will stand to gain from the reduction of taxation when the agreement comes into force.

Signing on behalf of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was Dato Seri Paduka Haji Eusoff Agaki bin Haji Ismail, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, while Mr Truong Chi Trung, Deputy Minister of Finance, represented Vietnam.

Brunei's Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Vietnam inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Awang Mohammad bin Haji Daud, Brunei's Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, signed on the dotted line while Mr Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism represented Vietnam.

The area of cooperation includes exchange of sports officials and athletes in carrying out research work, working visits and arrangement of training courses, visits of officials, coaches, referees, researchers and other sports experts and participation in competitions, congresses, conferences, symposia and seminars in the field of sports and physical activities, as well as exchange of materials, books, periodicals in the fields of sports and other educational and scientific sports publications.

It also includes exchange of programmes and research results on sports science and sports management and others.

The third signing of the day was between Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (PetroleumBrunei) and Vietnam oil and gas group (Petrovietnam). Signing for PetroleumBrunei was Haji Mohd Ja'afar bin Hj Awang Bakar, CEO of PetroleumBrunei, while on behalf of Petrovietnam, Dr Tran Ngoc Canh, President and Chief Executive Officer, signed.

The Memorandum of Understanding provides long-term mutual cooperation and exchange of information between both parties in their effort to enhance each other's vision and business plan objectives in exploring opportunities to work together in the oil and gas industry, in areas concerning oil and gas exploration and production, petrochemical industries, power plant, refining, transportation, supply, infrastructure, field services, crude trading and retailing. In addition, the MoU also ensures collaboration and establish a joint working committee for the management of the project.

Another MoU was signed between Asia Inc Forum and Vietnam's Sovico Group while the final MoU of the day was between Brunei's IQ Quest company and Sovico Group of Vietnam.

Signing on behalf of Asia Inc forum was Mr Allen Lai, CEO of Asia Inc Forum, while Vietnam's Sovico Group was represented by Dr Nguyen Thanh Hung. Signing on the dotted line for Brunei's IQ Quest company was Fauziah Dato Talib while for Vietnam's Sovico Group was Dr Nguyen Thanh Hung. On hand to witness the signing ceremony were Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Brunei's Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's office and Mr Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.