Message from the High Commissioner

Thank you for visiting the website of the High Commission of Canada in Brunei Darussalam. As the High Commissioner, I have the honour of welcoming all who visit this site. As I begin the second year of my tenure here in Brunei, I want to reflect on the strong and constructive bilateral relationship that Canada and Brunei enjoy.

Canada and Brunei Darussalam established formal diplomatic relations on 7 May 1984, following Brunei's independence. Together we have built a productive bilateral relationship strengthened by our cooperation in multilateral forums including APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), the World Trade Organization, and the Commonwealth.  Canada and Brunei also engage through Canada’s role as a Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Brunei is a founding member, and I am very much looking forward to Brunei’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2021. Canada’s partnership with ASEAN supports the region’s security, economic and resilience goals, centred on the close relationship between the peoples of ASEAN and Canada.

During these challenging times, Canada remains committed to working closely with our ASEAN partners in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased that the health-security capacity that Canada has helped to build in the ASEAN region, including the ASEAN Emergency Operations Center Network and the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre, has meaningfully strengthened the region’s capabilities to fight the current pandemic. I am very pleased that Canada was able to provide 120,000 essential N95 masks to the Ministry of Health of Brunei Darussalam to help Brunei through this pandemic.

The team of professionals who work at the High Commission are committed to defending and promoting Canadian interests and values in Brunei, including consular assistance and business development services to Canadians, as well as a wide range of bilateral partnerships.

Canada’s commitment to promote women’s empowerment and invest in growth that works for everyone aligns closely with Brunei’s vision for the future, Wawasan 2035, which prioritises education and sustainable economic growth. Canada and Brunei share a focus on our trade and investment relationship in which Canadian companies work closely with Bruneian firms to explore opportunities and nurture existing partnerships. Our respective young people will be the beneficiaries of reinforced people-to-people linkages, as more and more Bruneian students discover the benefits and opportunities of studying in Canadian universities, colleges and secondary institutions.

The High Commission works closely with our Bruneian partners to further develop and optimize the exciting opportunities to be found in the areas of trade and investment. In Brunei, Canadian firms are already working in the oil and gas, agriculture and agri-food, information and communication technologies, cleantech, aerospace, defence and security sectors. Brunei is also a potential market for Canadian companies in the areas of education, science, and technology and innovation and I look forward to further expanding our trade and investment relationship in pursuing opportunities between our countries. I am happy to note that Canada’s early ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) gives us first-mover advantage to reduce tariffs and help Canadian businesses succeed in finding new partners in Brunei and across the region.

With a year in Brunei under my belt, I can confidently say that my first impressions of a warm and welcoming population remain completely valid.  We have loved exploring Brunei and meeting so many people from all walks of life, often on one of the many wonderful hiking trails across the country.  I encourage you to visit our official Facebook page @CanadainBruneiDarussalam and Twitter @CanHCBrunei where you will find information on the High Commission’s initiatives in Brunei Darussalam.

Don’t hesitate to stop and say hi if you see me on the hiking trails!

Jeanette Stovel
High Commission of Canada in Brunei Darussalam

 

Jeanette Stovel, High Commissioner-Designate