Sultan of Brunei and Prince Abdual Mateen in Bangkok for Government talks. Historic visit coincides with the 40th diplomatic anniversary. Trade, investment, and tourism top the agenda. Luncheon hosted by the PM.

The Sultan of Brunei touched down on Sunday in Bangkok on a short visit to the Kingdom. He was accompanied by Prince Abdul Mateen. On Monday, he will have an audience with the King and Queen before discussions with Thai officials at Government House. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will host a luncheon for Brunei’s monarch on the same day. The visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the sultanate in 1984.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin greets Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Sunday as Prince Abdul Mateen looks on. The Sultan’s flight touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.45 pm. Mr Srettha was accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Deputy Prime Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin welcomed the Sultan of Brunei and Prince Abdul Mateen to Thailand on Sunday. It came the day the Royal Gazette confirmed Mr Srettha’s second cabinet. It is the first visit to Thailand by the Sultan in twelve years.

The plane carrying the Brunei monarch touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3:45 p.m. The visit by the Sultan will be a short one, finishing up on Monday.

In addition to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Minister of Energy and Deputy Prime Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga was present on the tarmac.

Brunei’s Sultan accompanied by  Prince Abdul Mateen who has reportedly developed a close friendship with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin previously

It is known that Mr Srettha is already a friend of Brunei’s Prince Abdul Mateen.

Indeed, the PM has previously spoken about his respect for the 32-year-old. Prince Abdul Mateen is the tenth child and fourth son of Brunei’s monarch.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is understood to be one of the richest men in the world. He is the world’s second richest monarch with a fortune estimated at $28 billion.

Certainly, the world’s richest monarch is King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, with a net worth of $43 billion.

The Sultan is scheduled to meet King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida during his trip.

His purpose is to explore closer cooperation with Thailand. This will involve discussions with the Prime Minister at Government House.

Brunei is an ancient sultanate but a relatively new state only gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1984, the year it joined the ASEAN community

Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN in 1984 and celebrates its 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Thailand this year.

The Sultanate of Brunei is an ancient Malay territory which only gained independence from Britain in 1984. It is 82.1% Muslim. 8.7% of its people are Christian while 7.8% are Buddhists. 

Although 70% Malay, the sultanate has a strong Chinese population of 9.6%.

In addition, it is a relatively wealthy country with a GDP per capita of $37,152, ranking 21st in the world. However, its Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) GDP is $73,609 per capita, the 8th highest.

By comparison, Thailand’s GDP per capita is $7,812, ranking 88th in the world. Its PPP GDP is $23,401 or 74th.

Talks focused on trade, investment and tourism

Among the issues to be discussed are the growing Halal industry in Thailand, trade, investment, and expanding digital economies.

The situation in Myanmar is also expected to come up.

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The Sultanate is also a key interlocutor in Thailand’s relations with the Islamic world.

The Sultan is due to have an audience with the Thai King and Queen on Monday. Afterwards, government-level discussions will commence at Government House.

During the visit, Thailand is expected to sign two cooperation documents with Brunei focusing on promoting tourism and bilateral investments.

The Prime Minister will host a luncheon in honour of the Sultan.

Correction: Thai Examiner would like to point out that an earlier version of this article referred to Prince Abdul Mateen as Crown Prince of Brunei. This was a mistake. We would like to sincerely apologise to His Highness Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah and to Prince Abdul Mateen for this error.

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