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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        2  June 2011

Philippines, Brunei sign trade deals

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd and the Sultan of Brunei, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, witnessed on Wednesday the signing of memoranda of understanding (MOU) on sports development, agriculture, tourism and shipping and ports management.

The President left also on Wednesday for Brunei Darussalam to boost bilateral relations between the Philippines and Brunei, and to invite more investors to the country. He was accompanied by a 55-man delegation upon the invitation of Sultan Bolkiah.

During his departure speech at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, the President said that his meeting with the Sultan of Brunei will also tackle cooperation on fighting transnational crimes, and combating drug and human trafficking.

Under the agreement for sports, there will be an exchange of officials in charge of sports policy-making with a view to disseminating and sharing their views and experiences on national and international sports affairs.

The MOU on agriculture, which was signed by Foreign affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Princess Masna of Brunei, aims to ensure food security and more enhanced cooperation between the two countries.

The agreement seeks to strengthen cooperation on food security in support of food basket initiatives of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-The Philippines East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga), agriculture, fisheries, food processing and Halal industry.

The MOU on tourism cooperation, on the other hand, aims at enhancing ties on tourism development. The areas of cooperation specified under the agreement will be on research and development, education and training, promotional programs, medical tourism, meetings and conventions, tourism investment, and aviation industry.

The agreement seeks to increase tourist arrivals for both countries.

President Aquino and Sultan of Brunei also witnessed the signing of MOU on shipping and ports management, which aims to facilitate cooperation between the Philippines and Brunei, both from their public and private sectors, and their state-owned companies, based on mutual understanding and benefit.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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