Brunei continues to promote a progressive and pragmatic foreign policy that promotes its national policies through bilateral and multilateral forums by encouraging cooperation in all sectors.
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,
who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has continuously underlined Brunei’s commitment in international affairs, assuring that the country would continue to foster and strengthen relations with other nations through, but not limited to, its membership in regional and international organisations.
The main objectives of Brunei’s foreign policy are to safeguard and promote its national interests, which are to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity; preserve the political, cultural and religious identity of the country; promote regional and global peace, security, prosperity and stability and also enhance the economic and social well-being of the
The guiding principles of Brunei’s foreign policy include mutual respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and national identity of all nations; recognition of the equality of all nations – large and small; non-interference in internal affairs; peaceful settlement of disputes and cooperation for mutual benefit.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) remains the cornerstone of Brunei’s foreign policy. The country became the bloc’s member as soon as it attained independence and has been an active member ever since.
Brunei was Asean Chair in 2013 and received praise for being a firm sounding board for ideas, wisdom and leadership, having decades of experience that helped build the Asean to its present premier position as a rising force in Asia. The country works hand-in-hand with other members of the bloc, thanks to the close relations it built with fellow neighbouring countries and has always been praised for its role in keeping stability in the region by countries like Australia, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Brunei is also active in a range of regional and multilateral forums, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.
Brunei is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN), since independence. Working hand-in-hand with these bodies, the country has addressed many of the world’s important issues ranging from finance to security, health and social security.
The establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 has significantly enhanced Brunei’s approach and engagement at the regional level, by simultaneously strengthening bilateral and multilateral aspects of the country’s relations with the world.
The AEC Blueprint 2025, adopted by the Asean leaders at the 27th Asean Summit on November 22, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, provides broad directions through strategic measures for the AEC
from 2016 to 2025.
Along with the Asean Community Vision 2025, the Asean Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint 2025 and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025, the AEC Blueprint
2025 forms part of the Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together initiative. It succeeded the AEC Blueprint (2008-2015) adopted in 2007.
The AEC Blueprint 2025 consists of five interrelated and mutually reinforcing characteristics that include a highly integrated and cohesive economy; a competitive, innovative and dynamic Asean; enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; a resilient, inclusive and people-centred Asean; and a global Asean – which all support the vision for the AEC as envisaged in the Asean Community Vision 2025.
The Blueprint will lead towards an Asean that is more proactive, having had in place the structure and framework to operate as an economic community, cultivating its collective identity and strength to engage with the world, responding to new developments and seizing new opportunities.
It will not only ensure that the 10 Asean member states are economically integrated, but are also sustainably and gainfully integrated with the global economy, thus contributing to the goal of shared prosperity.
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