France and Brunei

Political relations and visits

France is one of the three European countries (with Germany and the United Kingdom) to have an embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan (France shares its diplomatic offices with Germany). Brunei opened a diplomatic mission in Paris in July 1989 with a resident ambassador since September 1991.

The sultan made a state visit to France in December 1996, then several working visits to Paris and an official visit in June 2008. He also met with the President of the French Republic in October 2008 at the ASEM Summit in Beijing, for which France and Brunei acted as coordinators, and in November 2012 in Vientiane.

Crown Prince Billah Bolkiah made a working visit to France in June 2006 and met with the President of the French Republic.

Visit the website of the French Embassy: www.ambafrance-bn.org

Economic relations

Our trade with Brunei is quite erratic. It stood at €22 million in 2016 with a surplus for France of €18 million (not including defence orders). The main French economic stakeholders are Total, Airbus and BNP Paribas.

Aviation orders are an important, but volatile component of our sales (choice in March 2014 of Airbus for the renewal of medium-haul aircraft of Royal Brunei aircraft), with capital goods for the gas and oil industries.

In December 2016, Défense Conseil International (DCI), in collaboration with Royal Brunei Technical Services (RBTS), was chosen for a 10-year training contract for the Brunei Navy.

Brunei also had interests in France particularly in the Meurice and Plaza Athénée in Paris, which are owned by the sultan.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cultural cooperation is backed by the Alliance Française de Brunei, created in 1986. French started to be taught at university in late 2001.

Cooperation has developed between the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and various French universities, including La Rochelle and Montpellier I, to foster student and researcher exchanges in the fields of marine resource management, cartography, medicine and pharmacy.

Three cooperation agreements were signed during the visit of Brunei’s Minister of Education to France in December 2008, particularly between UBD and the French National Natural History Museum and Montpellier I University.

Visit the website of Alliance Française: https://directionafbrunei.wixsite.com/afbrunei

Updated: 24 April 2017

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