KOTA KINABALU, Sept 29 — Sabah looks forward to enhanced bilateral relations with Brunei now that the borders on both sides have reopened, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He is optimistic that cooperation in various fields, especially trade, will grow seeing that Sabah’s trade with Brunei increase by more than four folds from RM311.7 million in 2017 to RM1.48 billion in August, 2022.

“Sabah always values its relations with Brunei,” he said in a statement after an audience with the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei today.

The Chief Minister said Sabah also welcomed visitors from Brunei, the number having grown steadily after the reopening of borders with the first Royal Brunei Airlines flight into Kota Kinabalu International Airport on May 6, this year.

“Following the border reopening, Bruneians also travel by road to visit Sabah since Aug 1, this year. A total of 78,605 Bruneians visited Sabah in 2019 but the number plunged to 5,494 in 2020 following the border shutdowns,” he said.

Hajiji also shared with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah the achievements of the Sabah government under the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya development roadmap.

“Since Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-Barisan Nasional (GRS-BN) took over the state’s administration two years ago, Sabah recorded RM5.449 billion in revenue in 2021,” he said.

The Chief Minister said Sabah also achieved RM389 million in domestic investments from January to June 2022, and RM9.9 billion in foreign direct Investments (FDI) from January to September this year.

Hajiji, who  is on a  one-day visit to Brunei today, his first since his appointment as Chief Minister, also extended an invitation to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for a reciprocal visit to the ‘State Below The Wind’.


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