Friday, August 17, 2007

Brunei Vietnam Enter New Era Of Cooperation

By Shareen Han

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei and Vietnam's government have taken their cooperation to another higher level after yesterday's signing of all agreement and two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on the prevention of double taxation, and accelerate opportunities to broaden partnership in sports and the oil and gas sector.

The pact on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion to Taxes on Income and Capital is also expected to bolster both countries' private sectors to increase trade cooperation between Brunei and Vietnam.

The prevention of double taxation from foreign investments is aimed at lowering the tax burden of both parties. To date, Brunei has signed similar agreements with United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Laos.

Dato Seri Paduka Eussoff Agaki Hj Ismail, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, signed the agreement on behalf of His Majesty's Government, while Truong Tri Trung, Deputy Minister of Finance, represented Vietnam.

A MoU to develop long term cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector has also been signed to mutually explore opportunities in oil and gas exploration and production, petrochemical industries, as well as crude trading and retailing.

The signing was conducted between PetroleumBRUNEI's chief executive officer, Mohd Ja'afar Hj Bakar, and Dr Tran Ngoc Canh, president and chief executive officer of Petrovietnam.

It is also aimed at identifying potential projects for both companies, leading to an establishment of a joint working committee for the management of the projects.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office was the witness at the signing ceremony.

To improve the state of sports cooperation, Brunei and Vietnam will encourage and facilitate the exchange of information and sports officials and athletes.

The MoU stated that both countries would carry out research work on sports science and sports management through the exchange of human resources and other information materials.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (R) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad Hj Daud, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and Hoang Tuan Anh, Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism signed the MoU on sports cooperation.

Two local private companies, AsiaInc Forum and IQ-Quest, have also inked MoU's with Sovico Group, one of Vietnam's largest diversified investment groups in the banking and finance, energy, and real estate industries.

Allen Lai, chief executive officer of AsiaInc Forum, said that the MoU was signed to explore ways of using AsiaInc Forum's content and materials for Sovico's interest to start its satellite business.

"It is a symbol of Brunei and Vietnam's private sector working together," he said at the sidelines of the signing ceremony.

IQ-Quest is a consulting firm dealing with a range of services, including advice on investment banking as well as technology and communications solutions.

The signing ceremony took place at the Empire Hotel and Country Club. -- Courtesy of The Brunei Times