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‘Tremendous potential for India, Brunei in hydrocarbon sector’


Bandar Seri Begawan :  India’s growing economy and increasing energy needs offer oil and gas-rich Brunei an opportunity to enhance export of hydrocarbons to it, Vice President Hamid Ansari said today and underlined that there is “tremendous potential” for collaboration in the sector.

India, he said, is also keen to work with Brunei in setting up a fertiliser plant that would make use of the hydrocarbon resources available here.

Delivering a speech at the University of Brunei on the topic ‘India-Brunei: Partners in Peace and Prosperity’, Ansari said, “The growing Indian economy also provides us with an opportunity to move beyond the typical energy seller-buyer relationship. There is tremendous potential to diversify and do value-addition in the hydrocarbon export chain.”

In this context, he said India was “keen to work with Brunei in setting up a fertiliser plant that would make use of the hydrocarbon resources available here for producing fertilisers to meet agricultural requirement in India.”

This, Ansari said, will generate additional revenue streams and create local employment.

Energy trade is an area where India and Brunei have strong complementarities. At present, India imports crude oil worth USD 1 billion from Brunei.

Though India is the third-largest importer for Brunei, the total import from Brunei is only a fraction of India’s global crude imports of over USD 112.748 billion in 2014-15, Ansari said.

He said the historical and cultural linkages between Brunei and India dating back to the third century have “given us the confidence to forge a strong and abiding relationship in modern times.”

He thanked Brunei for its assistance to and cooperation with India’s space programmes through the Telemetry Tracking and Telecommand Station of ISRO in Brunei.

“The station was a crucial component in India’s spectacular success in deploying the Mangalyaan in orbit around Mars,” he said.

Expressing keenness in attracting investments from Brunei in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, Ansari said government’s flagship programmes have opened several avenues for profitable investments.

“Our new ‘Make in India’ initiative opens up new vistas for investments from ASEAN into India. These include sectors such as smart cities, roads and highways, ports, railways, power and urban infrastructure. The India-ASEAN Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment will also unleash large potential for mutual investment.”

He termed his three-day visit a “reaffirmation of the importance that India accords to its ties with Brunei and our keen desire to further deepen and intensify our relations.”

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