Some Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) is anticipated by Dhaka, especially in the domains of labour recruitment, fuel oil supply, energy, and the launch of direct air service between Dhaka and Bandar Seri Begawan that is likely to be signed during Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah’s maiden visit to Bangladesh, scheduled for October 14th to 16th, 2022. As stated by Bangladesh High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nahida Rahman Shumona, Brunei’s Sultan’s visit carries special relevance as both nations are planning to sign several bilateral collaborations during his visit that would stimulate greater ties.
During Sultan’s visit to Dhaka, he will meet the President of Bangladesh, Md. Abdul Hamid, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. An official visit was paid by PM Sheikh Hasina to Brunei Darussalam in April 2019. It further strengthened the diplomatic ties between the two friendly countries. PM Sheikh Hasina also sent 900 kg of “Amrapali” mangoes as a gift to Brunei’s Sultan.
In late August this year, the two nations held their second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, where Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Brunei Darussalam Permanent Secretary Pengiran Norhashimah Binti Pengiran Mohd Hassan were in the chair. They agreed to stimulate greater collaboration and synergy between the two nations’ private sectors and entrepreneurs in order to realise the untapped potential extensively. The two countries acknowledged the significant contribution made by the migrant workers of Bangladesh to both Brunei and Bangladesh.
Regarding the upcoming MoUs to be signed between Dhaka and Brunei, both nations showed optimism in signing the proposed agreements on the recruitment of Bangladeshi human resources by Brunei at the earliest. Marking the high demographic dividend that Bangladesh is currently enjoying, the foreign secretary offered Brunei the opportunity to recruit more Bangladeshi workers for mutual benefits. The Brunei side expressed eagerness to take Bangladeshi workers for their upcoming mega projects.
Moreover, in the August discussion, the issue of energy cooperation was also featured in the context of the severe supply chain disruptions due to the volatilities and uncertainties generated by the pandemic and disputes in different parts of the world. Both nations have also agreed to further explore the potential for collaboration in the fields of food processing, shipbuilding, ICT, tourism, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, jute products, etc. Bangladesh sought the support of Brunei in the development and promotion of the halal trade sector of Bangladesh. Both sides also agreed to facilitate air and shipping connectivity to give bilateral trade, investment, and people-to-people contact an upsurge.