BRUNEI Darussalam Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has expressed his gratitude that the nation is able to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged ministries to work together to ensure that the pandemic will not bring a negative impact to the economy.
In a speech last night to mark the monarch’s 74th birthday, he said, “I am thankful to Allah the Almighty for the blessings that enable us to celebrate my 74th birthday in peace and prosperity.
“I sincerely thank all parties who sent birthday greetings to me and my family.
“This year, the celebration has to be different as the world is still grappling with coronavirus. But we are grateful our nation is able to contain the pandemic.
“At present, schools, business premises, recreational areas and so on have been opened in phases. However, we are required to adhere to instructions from the authorities, particularly the Ministry of Health, as a precautionary measure.
“Everywhere, people are occupied by the coronavirus’ impact on the economy, especially on global oil prices.
“My government will ensure that its effect will not have a negative impact to the nation’s sustainability, in its effort to establish a conducive environment to attract foreign direct investment and in strengthening the nation’s fiscal.
“The Brunei Economic Development Board under the Ministry of Finance and Economy should not act alone, but work closely with the ministers concerned to strengthen the nation’s economy,” he added.
The monarch also said the oil refinery and petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar had exported oil produced from the facility.“The international ammonia and urea plant is expected to be operational at Sungai Liang Industrial Park and handled by Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd by the second quarter of next year.
“In this context, I have consented to the formation of the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam as the technical body for the Ministry of Energy to monitor the oil and gas operations and supervise upstream and downstream sectors,” he said. — Borneo Bulletin/ANN
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