Brunei. According to
Countryaah.com, Brunei continued to build stronger ties to China
during the year. The Sultanate has large oil resources, but
the low world market prices in recent years have clarified
the risks of being so heavily dependent on crude oil
exports. Among other things, an agreement was reached with a
Chinese company and a partner in Brunei to invest the
equivalent of US $ 3.5 billion in a new petrochemical plant.
But the business ties between Brunei and China have also
expanded beyond the oil and energy sector. For example, the
Banking China Bank Group now has offices in the capital of
Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, and other Chinese companies
have made major investments in Brunei. The Sultanate, for
its part, has criticized China's controversial actions in
the South China Sea.
On October 5, it was 50 years since Sultan Hassanal
Bolkiah succeeded his father as ruler of the country. This
was celebrated with a large parade through the capital. The
Sultan, who rules single-handedly, is the monarch in the
world who has sat next to the throne.