State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said Bangladesh is expecting to get 1-1.5 million metric ton of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Brunei starting early 2023. He made the statement following a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam in Bandar Seri Begawan on Thursday (November 24, 2022). “There might be a 10-15 year agreement between the two nations in this regard,” he said. Read more: Despite suspension of LNG import, govt decides to increase listed suppliers’ numbers Nasrul Hamid led the Bangladesh delegation while Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei, Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, led his country’s delegation. The State Minister said both Dhaka and Bandar Seri Begawan had fruitful discussions to increase the area of cooperation. In the current context, he said, it was discussed to import an average of 210,000 MT of diesel from Brunei on deferred payment. New agreements will be signed on these matters. He mentioned that both nations agreed to broaden the areas of cooperation in the energy sector. Read more: Saudi Arabia assures assistance in commercial supply of LNG to Bangladesh Bangladesh had imported 325,975 MT of diesel during 2014-2016 from Brunei. But later it was not possible to further import diesel from the Brunei-based supply company PB Trading Sendirian Berhad due to a condition that it must have its own refinery. It is mentionable that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Dhaka and Bandar Seri Begawan on October 16 during the Brunei’s Sultan’s Dhaka visit on the cooperation in supply of LNG and other petroleum products. Brunei’s Prime Minister’s permanent secretary Yang Mulia Azhar bin Haji Yahya, director of the Energy Department Mohammad Nizam bin Haji Ismi, director of the Petroleum Authority Adrian Wong Kwai Ming, acting director of the energy sharing management department of Energy Division Haji Mohd Zaki bin Haji Hassanol As’shari were present in the meeting from Brunei side. Read more: No additional LNG supply from Qatar before 2025: Petrobangla Bangladesh delegation includes senior secretary of the Energy Division Md Mahbub Hossain, chairman of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) ABM Azad, Petrobangla chairman Nazmul Ahsan, managing director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited Zabed Chowdhury and Bangladesh Ambassador in Brunei Nahida Rahman.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today (October 27, 2022) said power supply situation may improve from November. “We hope the power supply situation will improve from November. I’m optimistic and don’t want to make you pessimistic,” he told reporters after attending a seminar on renewable energy at Dhaka’s Brac Inn Centre. Earlier in August, the state minister had said that power supply situation may improve from September, and later again said that load shedding would decrease from October. Read more: 2 weeks after grid failure, Ghorashal Power Station’s unit-5 resumes operation Following a national power grid failure on October 4, 2022, the electricity supply situation deteriorated – increasing load shedding to 5-6 hours every day. The government started implementing an austerity plan in July by suspending operations of all diesel-fired power plants to reduce fuel imports and save foreign currency. The import of LNG from the international spot market was also suspended for the same purpose, triggering frequent load shedding across the country. Referring to the request of businessmen to resume LNG imports from the international spot market and to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to factories at a higher price, Nasrul said the government is assessing all the options. Read No govt decision to stop the supply of daytime electricity: Hasan Mahmud “We’re working on it. Businessmen need uninterrupted gas supply at an affordable price,” he added. He also said that his ministry has sent a detailed proposal to Brunei on power supply situation and is now waiting for their response. It may take a week more to get a response from Brunei, he said.
Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, left Dhaka for his country via a special flight this morning. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen saw him off at Dhaka airport. Read: Bangladesh will offer Bengal goats as ‘gift’ to Brunei Sultan: Momen He also handed over an album to the Sultan containing photos of his two-day state visit that ended Sunday evening.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday urged energy-rich Brunei to invest in Bangladesh taking advantage of facilities that the country offers for the foreign investors. “Bangladesh can be the right place for investment. My request will be to invest in Bangladesh,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a business meeting with Brunei’s Finance Minister Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Abdullah in a city hotel. The Commerce Minister mentioned countries like India and China where Bangladesh has the opportunity to export whatever it wants apart from its own market of 170 million people. He also urged the Brunei Finance Minister to remove the discriminatory rule for Bangladeshi immigrant workers who have to deposit $1600 while the amount is only $500 for Malaysian workers. Highlighting some of the major benefits provided in Bangladesh foreign investment policies, the minister informed, besides the gigantic domestic market, investing in Bangladesh will offer additional access to the Indian and Chinese market as these two markets allow most of the made in Bangladesh products duty free. Read: Brunei Sultan due Saturday; 3 cooperation deals likely to be signed State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam also spoke at the meeting chaired by President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md Jashim Uddin. He also highlighted the contributions of Bangladeshis, especially that of the construction workers. The State minister urged Brunei to appoint more Bangladeshi manpower as Bangladesh has been focusing more on creating skilled manpower. Bangladesh may offer a dedicated economic zone for ASEAN countries if Brunei provides capital and marketing assistance, he said. Issues related to trade and investment, recruitment of skilled workers from Bangladesh and using port facilities were discussed in the meeting. Dr Amin was appointed as the Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II on September 27, 2018 and re-appointed on June 7, 2022. Minister Dr Amin said the two countries have the opportunity to work together on trade and investment fronts and explore opportunities to create a regional hub in terms of transportation. “We are expanding our seaports at the moment.” A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between ZES Trading and Ghanim International Corporation was signed to introduce Halal food from Brunei in the Bangladeshi market. Dr Nur Rahman from Ghanim International and FBCCI director Dr Kazi Ertaza Hassan, CIP signed the MoU on behalf of their organizations. Dr Amin informed that Brunei port is nearer to China, and therefore using the port as a transshipment hub would save time and money of Bangladeshi businesses. Minister of Home Affairs Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman praised the contribution of the skilled Bangladeshi manpower in keeping Brunei economy afloat. FBCCI President Jashim Uddin urged the visiting delegation from Brunei to consider Bangladesh as their next trade and investment destination. “We have ongoing development projects to facilitate investment,” he said, mentioning deep seaports, 100 special economic zones, hi-tech parks, tourism parks, nuclear power plant, metro rail, LNG terminal and construction of road and rail on bringing the whole country under a common network. “So, our story is now very different from what it was before and Brunei can choose Bangladesh as their next destination for trade and investment,” said the FBCCI President. Read: Momen looking forward to Sultan of Brunei's visit
- Bangladesh rolled out the red carpet as Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah arrived in Dhaka on his first state visit to the country on Saturday afternoon. President Abdul Hamid warmly received the Sultan at the VVIP terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport amid 21-gun salute upon his arrival by a special flight. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were, among others, present. The Brunei Sultan was accompanied by his royal family members, ministers and senior government officials. He was given a guard of honour by a combined contingent of Bangladesh army, navy and air force in presence of President Hamid, senior ministers and high civil and military officials. The Sultan of Brunei and the Bangladesh President stood on a makeshift dais when military band played national anthems of both the countries. Foreign Minister Momen has expressed optimism that the state visit by the Sultan would “usher in a new chapter” in the excellent bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Brunei. The visit was originally scheduled for October 14-16, but later it was rescheduled for October 15-16. Brunei has one of the world's highest standards of living due to its abundant oil and gas reserves. The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the world's longest-reigning and few remaining absolute monarchs. He was crowned in August 1968 following the abdication of his father, Sir Haji Omar Ali Saifuddin. Read: Brunei Sultan due Saturday; 3 cooperation deals likely to be signed
Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is scheduled to arrive here on his first state visit to Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon. President Abdul Hamid will receive the Sultan at the VVIP terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport amid 21-gun salute and guard of honour upon his arrival by a special flight around 2:30pm, a senior official told UNB on Friday. The visit was originally scheduled for October 14-16, but later it was rescheduled for October 15-17. There is an indication that finally it will be a two-day visit. From the airport, Brunei Sultan is scheduled to go straight to National Martyrs' Memorial, Savar. There, he will be received by Liberation War Affairs, Housing and Public Works Ministers and State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief. The Sultan will place a wreath paying homage to Liberation War martyrs, sign visitors’ book and plant a sapling there. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah will also visit the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhaka’s Dhanmondi 32 to pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Sunday. Family members of Bangabandhu will receive him there, according to a draft programme schedule. Brunei Sultan will hold meetings with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina apart from other engagements during the visit. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will also meet him during his visit. Bangladesh and Brunei are likely to sign three bilateral cooperation documents, including an agreement for introducing direct flights between the two countries, Momen told reporters. Two other cooperation documents will be signed on recruitment of Bangladeshi workers and recognition of certificates for two countries’ seafarers. “We believe that the visit will be a successful and productive one,” Momen said. On energy cooperation with Brunei, Momen said Bangladesh is having discussion in this area and exploring all available options. “This is going to be the first state visit by the Sultan of Brunei to Bangladesh,” Nahida Rahman Shumona, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Brunei, told UNB last week. She said the visit carries special significance. Read: Brunei Sultan to pay homage to Bangabandhu, martyrs during 1st Bangladesh visit High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam Haji Haris Bin Othman has said he understands the importance of direct air connectivity between the two friendly Muslim countries to boost tourism and trade. "Bangladesh tourists are most welcome to Brunei," he said ahead of the visit. The envoy said the state visit will be a new chapter in the history of both countries, further strengthening bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. In April 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a historic visit to Brunei Darussalam, which marked a new milestone as the countries signed several MoUs for various types of cooperation, including in sectors like gas supply, fisheries, agriculture, livestock, youth and sports, and art and culture, said Haris Bin Othman. The high commissioner estimated that currently there may be around 15,000 Bangladeshi workers in Brunei. He added that the country welcomes foreign workers to work in Brunei, including Bangladeshis, as long as the recruitment process is clean and all documents are in place. The envoy noted that Bangladeshi tourists travel to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia - Brunei's neighbours in the region -not only for leisure and adventure but also for medical treatment. He would like to draw a portion of them to Brunei, which occupies a spot on the northern coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Also read: Brunei Sultan’s first state visit to Bangladesh carries special significance The remainder of the island is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia. Bangladesh and Brunei are stressing the importance of facilitating air and shipping connectivity for giving the bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people contact a boost. Foreign Minister Momen is scheduled to see off Brunei Sultan at the airport after completion of the visit, likely on Sunday evening.
Bangladesh and Brunei have stressed the importance of facilitating air and shipping connectivity for giving the bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people contact a boost. The two countries agreed to facilitate a greater collaboration and synergy between the private sectors and entrepreneurs of the two countries to fully harness the untapped potentials. The issues were discussed at the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam held in Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday. The consultations were co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Permanent Secretary of Brunei Darussalam Pengiran Norhashimah binti Pengiran Mohd Hassan. Bangladesh High Commissioner Nahida Rahman was present. The issue of energy cooperation prominently featured in the bilateral discussions in context of the severe supply chain disruptions owing to the volatility and uncertainties caused by the pandemic and conflicts in different parts of the world, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two sides acknowledged the valuable contribution made by Bangladeshi migrant workers to both the countries. Read: Bangladesh, Brunei 2nd FOC Wednesday Expressing optimism for signing the proposed MoU on recruitment of Bangladeshi human resources in Brunei at the earliest, Foreign Secretary Masud underscored the need for a safe, orderly and regular migration. Flagging the high demographic dividend Bangladesh is currently enjoying, he offered to send more Bangladeshi workers to Brunei for mutual benefit of the two countries. The Brunei side expressed their keenness for recruiting more Bangladeshi workers in their upcoming mega projects. During the FOC, the whole spectrum of Bangladesh-Brunei bilateral relations came under discussion including cooperation in areas of migration, trade and commerce, investment, agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and livestock, health, connectivity, defence, energy, education, culture, youth and sport, etc. Both the sides expressed satisfaction at the existing level of bilateral engagements and reiterated their commitment for continued efforts to further expand the bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit in the days ahead. Applauding the fruitful and substantial talks, both the sides also agreed on continuing the regular institutional engagement mechanisms to keep up the momentum in bilateral relations. While sharing Bangladesh’s preparedness for LDC graduation, Foreign Secretary Masud highlighted the tremendous socio-economic development in Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Foreign Secretary requested for continued international support, including from Brunei, for sustaining the development trajectory of Bangladesh in the post-graduation period. The Permanent Secretary of Brunei highly praised the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and congratulated Bangladesh for successfully qualifying for graduation from an LDC to a developing nation. Both sides agreed to further explore the potentials for cooperation in the areas of food processing, ICT, ship building, tourism, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals and jute products etc. Bangladesh sought Bruneian support for developing and promoting the Halal trade sector of Bangladesh. As the Foreign Secretary highlighted the Rohingya crisis and sought a more proactive Bruneian support for an early repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their motherland, the Brunei side assured of all possible cooperation in this regard. Brunei also assured of their support in favour of Bangladesh’s candidacy for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen is now in Brunei to attend the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between the two countries. The FOC is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Foreign Secretary is leading a six-member delegation. Read: Liller vows to continue UNDP’s full support to Bangladesh The entire gamut of Bangladesh-Brunei bilateral relations will be discussed at the FOC. The first FOC was held in 2018 in Dhaka, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Monday said the "Bangabandhu-Bangladesh Book Corner" in Brunei will serve as an effective conduit to bring the academics and students of Brunei and Bangladesh to collaborate and learn from each other. "Education is a priority of our government; we want to collaborate with the universities of Brunei more," he said, noting that the education sector worldwide suffered a huge blow from the pandemic. Read: Bangabandhu's foreign policy still works as guiding principle: FM The State Minister thanked the University Technology Brunei (UTB) for opening the Bangabandhu-Bangladesh Corner at its premises.