Visit to Brunei by the UK Minister of State
Written by Delwin Keasberry Friday, 07 December 2012 22:32
Press Release: Visit to Brunei Darussalam by the UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The British High Commission has announced that the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Rt. Hon. Hugo Swire MP will visit Brunei from 9 to 10 December. This will be Minister Swire’s first visit to the ASEAN region since he assumed office as Minister of State in September 2012. Brunei will be the first stop on his South East Asia tour. The Minister will go on to the Philippines and Burma.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam has graciously consented to receive Mr Swire in audience. The Minister will also meet His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; as well as Foreign Minister II, Pehin Lim, and senior officials at that Ministry. Mr Swire also has an appointment with the Deputy Minister of Defence.
On 10 December, Minister Swire’s first public engagement will be the signing of an MoU between Oxford University and the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), to help launch a Rapid Botanical Survey (RBS) of Brunei. Under this project, Oxford University will study Brunei’s plant biodiversity and collect data for the National Herbarium (BRUN) at the Brunei Forestry Centre. The RBS project will forge a powerful alliance between Oxford, MIPR and scientists at UBD.
At this event Mr Swire will deliver a speech (“Britain, Brunei and Beyond: Developing our Education Partnerships”). Before departing Brunei Minister Swire will hold a press conference with the local media and bloggers.
British High Commissioner to Brunei, H.E. Rob Fenn said: “Mr Swire is visiting Brunei as the Sultanate assumes the Chairmanship of ASEAN – a region of the world of increasing importance to the UK, which is receiving ever closer attention from the British government, with a stream of senior visitors in both directions. The British approach is to engage ASEAN through the very strong relationships we have with each of its ten members. Mr Swire’s visit to Brunei is a text book example of that strategy. Not only is Brunei one of the UK’s oldest friends in the region, it also contains some of the region’s most experienced statesmen – who will be at the helm of ASEAN for the next twelve months. Mr Swire is therefore coming to listen and learn – as well as to wish Brunei Darussalam the very best of luck for the year ahead.”