Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness attend dinner hosted by Vietnam Vice-President

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Sarah who are in Hanoi for a three-day official visit, last night attended a dinner. The reception was hosted by the Vice-President of Vietnam, Her Excellency Truong My Hoa and her spouse, Mr. Ha Van Hien at the Government Guest House.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince in his keynote address said the visit provides an opportunity to reaffirm both countries friendship and close ties. His Royal Highness also said that over the years, both bilateral cooperation has been developing steadily. A number of exchanges of visits have taken place between both people at all levels. In recent times, cooperation in various fields such as defence, air services and education have shown much progress. His Royal Highness went on to say that, Brunei Darussalam is happy that Royal Brunei Airlines is flying into Ho Chi Minh City this coming May. His Royal Highness believed that with the start of flight services to Vietnam, both relations will be strengthened, people to people contacts will be enhanced and that trade and tourism industry between both nations will develop.

The Crown Prince also said within the framework of ASEAN, cooperation is flourishing and added that both countries are pleased that the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, IAI programme has enabled Brunei Darussalam to work with Vietnam in its human resource development as well as enhanced both countriesí capacity building efforts. His Royal Highness expressed happiness to note that the number of Vietnamese participating in the training courses that Brunei Darussalam provides is increasing year by year. At the regional and international level, said His Royal Highness, Brunei Darussalam is pleased to be working side by side with Vietnam. Both shared common interests in promoting prosperity and maintaining peace and stability of the region in the face of global challenges.

His Royal Highness also commended Vietnamís active contribution and commitment in ASEAN as well as in other organizations such as ASEM and APEC. In this regard, Brunei Darussalam congratulated Vietnam once again for successfully hosting the ASEM Summit in 2004 and would like to wish Vietnam much success in hosting the APEC Summit in November this year.

Earlier, the Vice-President of Vietnam, Her Excellency Truong My Hoa in her speech said, the visit of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to Vietnam will mark an important stage of development in the traditionally fine friendship between Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam and contribute to further promotion of confidence and multi-faceted cooperation between both countries and people.

During the dinner, Their Royal Highnesses were presented with traditional musical performances. Also accompanying Their Royal Highnesses at the dinner was Prince Abdul Qawi. (21st Mar 2006)