The 21st Annual Leaders' Consultation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, on 23 November 2017. The Consultation was held between His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui'zzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Laila Utama Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

2. The Consultation was held in a productive and friendly manner, underscoring the long and close ties between the two countries and their peoples. Both Leaders welcomed the strengthening of bilateral relations and the significant growth in political, economic and strategic issues of mutual interest, based on the firm foundation of common values and traditions between the two countries. The Leaders welcomed the latest developments under the implementation of the Exchange of Letters signed by the Leaders of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia on 16 March 2009. They reaffirmed the importance of the Exchange of Letters in further strengthening the strategic relationship shared by Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, as well as in advancing dialogue and mutual understanding between the two countries.

3. Both Leaders also recalled the previous Annual Consultation held on 4 October 2016 and expressed satisfaction on the positive progress achieved in the past year and agreed that the momentum should be maintained. They further reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and expand bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as to intensify efforts in addressing the challenges in the region for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries.

4. The Leaders pledged to nurture the economic ties between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam towards the creation of opportunities for the people in both countries. In this regard, His Majesty invited Malaysia's participation in the foreign direct investment clusters of halal, innovative technology and creative industry, business services, tourism and downstream oil and gas. Both Leaders expressed confidence that any collaborative effort will be mutually beneficial for the people of both countries.

5. The Leaders were pleased with the continued progress made by PETRONAS and PetroleumBRUNEI in the Commercial Arrangement Areas (CAA) in Blocks CA1 and CA2, Production Sharing Agreements in Block N, and their collaboration in Canada and Myanmar. Both Leaders were encouraged with the efforts made by PETRONAS and PetroleumBRUNEI to finalise arrangements on the pre-development activities of its discoveries in Block CA2. These efforts signify commitment by both organisations to extend future collaboration in ensuring sustainable gas production to Brunei Darussalam.

6. The Leaders were pleased that the Brunei National Unitisation Secretariat and PETRONAS have finalised the framework for unitisation arrangements for both (i) Kinabalu West NAG (KN) and Maharajalela North Fields (MLJ) and (ii) Gumusut/Kakap (GK) and Geronggong/Jagus-East (GRG/JGE) fields. The Leaders viewed the formalisation of these arrangements as a significant milestone, denoting the strong cooperation between the two countries in the oil and gas industries.

7. The Leaders welcomed the steady progress made by the joint technical teams on the demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. In this regard, both Leaders commended the joint technical teams for their work and urged them to continue to undertake the survey and demarcation activities expeditiously, especially in the priority areas.

8. The Leaders noted that discussions between officials from both countries on the operationalisation of the provision of the Exchange of Letters relating to maritime access is still underway. They urged the officials to further intensify their efforts in order to achieve an early conclusion to the discussions.

9. The Leaders underlined the importance of further developing maritime cooperation and noted the ongoing discussions between officials of both countries on increasing engagement in this field with a view to having a memorandum of understanding on maritime cooperation.

10. Both Leaders acknowledged the existing cooperation on the fisheries sector between both countries and noted the ongoing discussion between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia on traditional fishing grounds. Both Leaders encouraged the formalisation of this cooperation with a view to having a Memorandum of Understanding in Fisheries Cooperation.

11. The Leaders welcomed the continued progress in trade and investment cooperation, particularly with the states of Sabah and Sarawak and looked forward to enhancing cooperation especially in the areas of agriculture, communications, tourism, livestock and fisheries.

12. The Leaders expressed their support for stronger bilateral cooperation in developing both countries' Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). In this regard, both Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding Between Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Co-operation Programmes Between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam on 27 November 2016 and encouraged both sides to explore new initiatives and policy measures for the overall development of MSMEs in both countries. The Leaders also welcomed the continued participation of both countries at various expositions and trade fairs held this year such as the Penang International Halal Expo and Conference (PIHEC) on 24 � 26 February 2017; 1st MSME Innovation Conference and Expo in Brunei Darussalam on 6 � 8 May 2017; Sabah International Food & Beverage Fair on 29 September � 1 October 2017; the Satu Kampung Satu Produk (1K1P) Expo and ASEAN Fruits and Food Festival in Brunei Darussalam on 1 � 5 November 2017; and the 20th SME Annual Showcase & Conference 2017 (SMIDEX) in Kuala Lumpur on 15 � 17 November 2017.

13. The Leaders affirmed the importance of strengthening connectivity, and expressed satisfaction on the successful convening of the consultation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia on the Pan Borneo Highway which was held on 26 November 2016 in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Leaders urged officials of both countries to continue their discussions on issues related to the development of the Pan Borneo Highway.

14. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress of cooperation in the field of green technology between the Energy and Industry Department, Prime Minister's Office (EIDPMO) and the Ministry of Energy Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA). In this regard, the Leaders encouraged both sides to continue working closely towards the conclusion of the work plan in promoting technical cooperation in green technology.

15. The Leaders reiterated the importance of the long-standing defence cooperation between the two countries in view of the changing security architecture and dynamic security challenges and expressed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including through regular exchanges of visits, training courses and military exercises between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

16. The Leaders underscored the need to further enhance defence cooperation within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation through information sharing, joint combined exercises and joint operations between armed forces of both countries. Therefore, both Leaders welcomed the decision to explore possible avenues for future collaboration in defence technology between the Centre of Science and Technology Research and Development, Brunei Darussalam (CSTRAD) and the Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence Malaysia (STRIDE).

17. They also underscored the importance of continuing both countries' close cooperation and active contributions to regional peace and security through the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Southern Philippines.

18. The Prime Minister of Malaysia expressed appreciation for Brunei Darussalam's participation in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 (LIMA '17) on 21 � 25 March 2017 and looked forward to Brunei Darussalam's continuous support for the 16th Defence Services Asia (DSA) Exhibition and Conference in April 2018.

19. The two Leaders expressed satisfaction on the launch of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) by the ASEAN Defence Ministers on 24 October 2017 at the ASEAN Defence Minister's Meeting in Clark, Philippines, which will provide a permanent, rapid, reliable, and confidential means by which ASEAN Defence Ministers could communicate and further foster cooperation, as well as defuse possible misunderstandings among ASEAN Member States.

20. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the increasing number of tourist arrivals between both countries. His Majesty was pleased to note that Malaysia was the largest source of tourists for Brunei Darussalam. In this regard, both leaders welcomed the signings of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Sabah Tourism Board and Royal Brunei Airlines on 28 March 2017 and the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the Field of Tourism on 23 November 2017, which will further promote and develop tourism cooperation between the two countries.

21. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the close engagement between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia officials on matters relating to immigration cooperation, including the Brunei-Malaysia Frequent Travellers Programme (BMFTP), which has eased travel between both countries and enhanced people-to-people connectivity.

22. His Majesty expressed appreciation for Malaysia's support during Brunei Darussalam's hosting of the 13th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting, 7th ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting and 6th ASEAN-China Health Ministers Meeting held on 6 � 7 September 2017.

23. Both Leaders looked forward to the signing of the memorandum of understanding relating to the movement of prisoners from areas between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei Darussalam, and the movement of prisoners within Brunei Darussalam via Sarawak by the end of 2017.

24. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the ongoing initiatives undertaken to strengthen existing cooperation in higher education, particularly in the areas of research, student and faculty exchanges, seminars, public lectures and in the publication of academic material. In this regard, they welcomed the signings of the MOUs between Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Brunei Darussalam with Kolej Pengajian Islam Johor (MARSAH) andKolej Universiti Islam Melaka (KUIM) both signed on 22 October 2016; Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) on 14 February 2017; and Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah (KUIPSAS) on 8 April 2017 and a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Pusat Kajian Pengurusan Pembangunan Islam (ISDEV), Universiti Sains Malaysia on 17 October 2017. The Leaders also welcomed the signings of MOUs between Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPUSB), Brunei Darussalam, with Kolej Univerisiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS), Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah (KUIPSAS) and Yayasan Mujamma' Darul Hadis Malaysia on 25 October 2017.

25. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the active people linkages, particularly among the youths in promoting greater friendship and understanding. In this regard, the Leaders looked forward to the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding in the Fields of Youth and Sports to continue enhancing sports training and leadership development of both countries.

26. His Majesty congratulated the Prime Minister on Malaysia's successful hosting of the 29thSoutheast Asian Games (SEA GAMES) and the 9th ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, which have promoted greater socio-cultural linkages and people-to-people connection. His Majesty also expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for Malaysia's generous hospitality and excellent arrangements extended to Brunei Darussalam's athletes during their participation in the Games.

27. With a view to enhancing policy dialogue and deepening intellectual exchanges between the two countries, the Leaders welcomed the good relations and encouraged regular interactions between the two civil services. Brunei Darussalam hosted the 16th Malaysia�Brunei Darussalam Public Service Senior Officials' Exchange Programme on 12 � 14 May 2017. Both Leaders recognised the benefit that the programme has brought to the civil services of both countries including enhancing cooperation and promoting greater interaction and understanding on public service matters and looked forward to the 17thMalaysia�Brunei Darussalam Public Service Senior Officials' Exchange Programme to be hosted by Malaysia in 2018.

28. Both Leaders expressed the importance of both countries working closely together in preventing and countering all forms of transnational crime issues such as terrorism, extremism, radicalism, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, people smuggling, cybercrime and other issues as mutually agreed by both countries at the bilateral, multilateral, regional, sub-regional and international level. His Majesty commended the establishment of the counter messaging communication centres and the King Salman Centre for International Peace in Malaysia in countering radicalisation, extremist propaganda and ideologies, both at the local and regional level.

29. The Leaders also welcomed the operationalization of the Framework on Trilateral Cooperative Agreement through the launching of the Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) and the Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in Sulu Sea to combat piracy, terrorism and fighting militants' presence in the region.

30. The Prime Minister of Malaysia extended his warm congratulations to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne on 5 October 2017.

31. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcome of their meeting and looked forward to the implementation of the decisions reached for a much strengthened bilateral relationship and cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.

32. The Leaders agreed to hold the 22nd Annual Leaders' Consultation in Malaysia in 2018.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia