ASEAN HEADLINES: BRUNEI DARUSSALAM- China remains ASEAN’s top trading partner, says Sultan

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivers a titah via recorded video aired during the opening ceremony of the 18th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China. PHOTO: MOFE


Hakim Hayat

The total merchandise trade between ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China grew in 2020, maintaining China’s position as ASEAN’s top trading partner, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said in a titah yesterday.

The titah was delivered via video recording aired during the opening ceremony of the 18th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, where His Majesty was invited to deliver a speech as ASEAN Chair 2021.

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the positive growth in merchandise trading between the 10-member nation bloc and China underscores the strong economic ties and business linkages that characterised the long-standing relationship between the two.

“We should build upon this strong foundation and continue to join hands to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts in the region,” His Majesty said.

The monarch added that the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) is significant in enhancing regional connectivity and bringing countries closer. “It could also present opportunities for countries to work together in many areas and through sub-regional fora such as BIMP-EAGA, which would further contribute to the inclusive revitalisation of their economies.”

Eighteen years since the introduction of the CAEXPO, the event continues to be an important platform for the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and further strengthening of economic ties between ASEAN and China.

Concluding the titah, His Majesty said he is confident that the expo would continue to make China an attractive export destination for ASEAN products and boost trade relation.

This year’s expo bears significance as ASEAN celebrates the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations with China and a milestone for the Sultanate as it commemorates the 30th year of diplomatic ties with China.

Brunei records 63 COVID cases

James Kon
New Cases:  148
Total Cases:  3,831
Recovered:  2,313
Deaths:  17




Sixty-three new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the Sultanate yesterday with no new cluster detected.

With the latest number, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 3,894, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said during a press conference yesterday.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin was also present.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said there are 24 additional new cases to 10 of the existing active clusters. “The cases in these active clusters are individuals who are currently being quarantined and were found to be in contact with several confirmed cases,” he said.

Meanwhile, 39 cases are still being investigated to determine the source of infection. Contact tracing for all the new cases is ongoing, and all identified close contacts have been required to undergo mandatory quarantine and RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 virus test.

A total of 105 cases recovered yesterday, including 35 positive cases from Category 1 that have undergone 14-day self-isolation at their homes.

The minister said, “All have undergone second swab tests at Day 12 and have been confirmed recovered. With that, the total number of recovered cases in Brunei has increased to 2,418, whereas the total number active cases are 1,454 cases.”

However, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also said, “Among the active cases, nine cases are in critical condition, where eight cases require assistance of artificial ventilation. One case still requires the help of an additional heart-lung machine (ECMO), and 32 cases categorised in Category 4 are admitted to the intensive care unit for close monitoring.”

In the past 24 hours, 4,461 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 269,041.

Meanwhile, the minister also announced that one case safely delivered a baby boy on September 9.

“Both mother and the newborn are in stable condition,” he said.

He added that two cases delivered their babies on September 8.


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