Brunei-Indonesia ties at a glance
By Azaraimy HH
Photo by Information Department

The Sultanate's major export to Indonesia is fuel while it imports mostly manufactured goods, machinery, and transport equipment.

The education cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia includes technical and vocational training through the Department of Technical Education.

This involves engaging the expertise of technical educators as well as exchanging in research particularly between Brunei Technology Institute (ITB) and Bandung Technology Institute under the AUN-SEED Network (Asean University Network-Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network).

Brunei Darussalam also cooperates with Indonesia at university level. Presently (as of Feb 08), there are eight Indonesian lecturers working at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

There are also 14 Indonesian students undergoing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in various fields at UBD (as of Feb 08). From 1991 to 2007, a total of 42 Indonesian students have graduated from UBD.

UBD also has established an exchange programme with the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), University Indonesia (UI) and Bandung Institute of Technology (BIT) under the umbrella of the Asean University Network (AUN) which allows undergraduate student exchanges (under the Asean Study Award Programme), Masters student exchange (under the Asean Graduate Business/Economic Programme) and faculty exchanges.

In 2007, UBD initiated the move to formalise further the existing collaboration with the three institutions on a one to one or bilateral level.

Brunei and Indonesia have signed the "Asean Framework on Goods in Transit".

In 2007, under BIMP-EAGA, two MoUs were signed namely in Establishing and Promoting Efficient and Integrated Sea Linkages, and on Cross Border Movement of Commercial Buses and Coaches (Transit of passenger).

An Agreement on Air Services between Brunei and Indonesia was signed in Bandar Seri Begawan on July 24, 1986.

An MoU was signed by the two countries on December 4, 1998 under which Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) was permitted to operate to Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Biak, Ujung Pandang, Batam, Medan, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Padang and BIMP-EAGA points i.e. Balikpapan, Manado, Pontianak and Tarakan. RBA was also given fifth freedom traffic rights for services to Darwin via Balikpapan and to one destination in Australia or New Zealand via Biak.

At present, RBA operates to Jakarta, Denpasar, and Surabaya. The Bandar Seri Begawan-Balikpapan route was suspended since March 2001 due to commercial reasons.

On February 28, 2006, RBA signed an MoU for joint cooperation with PT Garuda Indonesia. The joint cooperation includes training; maintenance; information and distribution technologies; ground handling and catering.

The Ministry of Health of Brunei Darussalam sends its officers for training programmes, courses, meetings and conferences in Indonesia. Currently, there are nine Indonesians working in RIPAS: two doctors, six nurses and one midwife.

A Joint Technical Committee meets once a year to identify, make recommendations and monitor the joint programmes on television production and exchanges of television programmes that have been implemented. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd April 2008)