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.