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U.S. Relations With Brunei


Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 3, 2014

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More information about Brunei is available on the Brunei Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-BRUNEI RELATIONS

Brunei Darussalam is a Malay Muslim Monarchy located at the heart of Southeast Asia, the focus of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Although the United States and Brunei concluded their Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in 1850, which is still in effect, the current era of U.S.-Brunei relations began in 1984 when Brunei became fully independent from the United Kingdom and the United States and Brunei established diplomatic relations. A memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation was signed in 1994. Brunei's armed forces engage in joint exercises, training programs, and other military cooperation with the United States. Bruneian military personnel have attended U.S. military academies and in 2014 the first U.S. military student is attending the Brunei Command and Staff Course.

The two countries work closely together on a bilateral and regional agenda to tackle some of the most pressing issues. The contemporary U.S.-Brunei relationship enters its fourth decade in a position of strength, based on the unprecedentedly intensive and productive bilateral engagement in 2013, when Brunei provided strong leadership for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the 2013 ASEAN Chair. In connection with Brunei’s role as ASEAN Chair, Brunei hosted three U.S. Secretary of State visits and other Cabinet-level U.S. government visits. Brunei’s hosting of the 18-nation ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting - Plus Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine exercise in June 2013 demonstrated Brunei’s ability to bring together diverse nations, including the United States and China, for practical cooperation in valuable areas such as humanitarian military cooperation. The United States and Brunei have also partnered to increase English language instruction in ASEAN countries, promote trade, and expand educational opportunities and people-to-people connections. The United States and Brunei share a commitment to protecting the environment and in 2013 Brunei became the first nation in the world to ban all trade relating to sharks.

U.S. Assistance to Brunei

The United States provides no foreign assistance to Brunei.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Brunei encourages foreign investment in the domestic economy through various incentives, marketing the country as an opportunity for investors in new industries and economic activities, although oil and gas and government spending still account for most of Brunei’s economic activity. Brunei's non-petroleum industries include agriculture, forestry, fishing, aquaculture, and banking. U.S. firms are consulting on health care and other projects and U.S. franchises and brands are opening and thriving in Brunei. The United States was the largest supplier of imports to Brunei in some quarters of 2012. Aircraft that Brunei has procured from the United States in recent years include Sikorsky Black Hawk S70i helicopters and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Brunei's Membership in International Organizations

Brunei gives its ASEAN membership the highest priority in its foreign relations. Brunei and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations and forums, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Brunei is Daniel Shields; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Brunei maintains an embassy in the United States at 3520 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel. 202-237-1838.

You can learn more by following the Embassy on Facebook (U.S. Embassy Brunei Darussalam) or the Embassy webpage http://brunei.usembassy.gov/.

More information about Brunei is available from the Department of State and other online sources. some of which are listed here:

Department of State Brunei Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Brunei Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page



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