The Sultanate’s involvement in potential investment projects at the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Malaysia will be one of main topics of discussion when Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak meets His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for a four-eye meeting at Istana Nurul Iman today.
The Malaysian prime minister and his spouse, Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, as well as eight cabinet ministers, including two chief ministers from Brunei’s neighbouring states, Sabah and Sarawak – Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud – arrived in the country last night for the 13th Annual Consultation with His Majesty.

In a press conference last night, Dato’ Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei, said that His Majesty and the Malaysian prime minister have placed high importance in forging new cooperation from both sides, especially in the IDR.

“Malaysia welcomes the participation of Brunei Darussalam in the Iskandar Development Region… I believe there is a vast potential of investment for Brunei Darussalam through the Brunei Investment Agency,” he said, adding that Malaysia is confident that the IDR can, in return, offer “numerous attractive packages”.

Dato’ Ku Jaafar said that a wide range of key issues will be discussed at today’s four-eye meeting such as education, health, defence, transportation, Islamic finance banking, investment, trade and the ‘Halal Hub’.

Aside from areas of cooperation in the field of agro-based industries, tourism and energy between Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei, important issues on Asean, as well as Commonwealth, will also be discussed, the Malaysian high commissioner said.

According to him, the highlight of the 13th Annual Consultations will be the signing of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

Dato’ Ku Jaafar pointed out that under this agreement, businesspeople of both countries who have investments will only pay tax in one of the countries.

The Malaysian high commissioner revealed that the agreement was expected to be inked by Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade & Industry, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed, and Brunei’s Minister of Finance II, Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim.

The signing of the important agreement will be witnessed by His Majesty and the Malaysian prime minister.

When asked if there would be any discussion on land demarcation, Dato’ Ku Jaafar said that there would not be any discussion on these matters.

The Malaysian prime minister and his spouse will be attending a state banquet hosted by His Majesty tonight. Prior to the state banquet, there will be a friendly badminton game between the cabinet ministers of both countries.

Before departing Brunei, the Malaysian prime minister will go for a morning stroll with His Majesty. A press conference will then be held for only media personnel from Malaysia.