Canada-Brunei Darussalam relations
Canada established diplomatic relations with Brunei Darussalam in 1984, following Brunei's independence, and opened a High Commission in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan in 1995. Canada and Brunei share mutual interests in economic and education matters, as well as on multilateral cooperation such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the World Trade Organization, the Commonwealth and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.
The most recent high-level visit took place in April 2017, when Princess Hajah Masna, the Sultan's eldest sister and Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, visited Canada. The Sultan last travelled to Canada in 2000 and met with then-Governor General Clarkson and then-Prime Minister Chrétien.
In Brunei, the Canadian High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan represents Canada. A High Commission in Ottawa represents Brunei in Canada.
Political and economic overview
Brunei is a sovereign state and absolute monarchy situated on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. Of Brunei’s 453,600 residents, 66% of the population is Malay, 10% Chinese, and 3% indigenous. The remaining 21% is comprised primarily of foreign workers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. The national religion of Brunei is Islam, with 79% of the population identifying as Muslim (Sunni Islam), 8% Buddhist, and 9% Christian.
Oil and natural gas have made Brunei the fourth-richest country in the world measured by GDP per capita. Brunei has also the second highest Human Development Index ranking in Southeast Asia, after Singapore.
Canada's trade relationship with Brunei includes commerce across a number of sectors; most notable are oil and gas, education, and defense and security. Canadian firms are working in aerospace and simulation training, information and communication technologies (ICT) and in the halal industry. Canada’s exports to Brunei in 2020 totaled $9.24 million and imports from Brunei totaled $1.85 million.
Canadian companies will find a concentration of business opportunities in education, ICT verticals such as EduTech, FinTech, halal pharma and food industry. With the pandemic, there has been emerging niche opportunities in the health sciences industry.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Brunei Darussalam work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
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