BRUNEI-MUARA – The Embassy of the United States of America hosted a soiree on Wednesday evening to commemorate the country’s 243rd Independence Day.

Held at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong, the event highlighted the professional, educational and cultural ties between Bruneians and Americans with the theme “People-to-People Connections”.

In his welcoming remarks, US Ambassador Matthew J. Matthews spoke about how these connections create special meaning between Brunei and the United States.

“We are happy to offer visa-free travel for our tourists and business people to encourage greater understanding of each others’ culture and to create new opportunities for trade and investment between our two nations,” he said.

“We are also actively expanding the creative sharing ideas through our educational exchanges and joint research programmes.”

A UBD representative (L) explains a collaborative project between UBD and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to US Ambassador Matthews (C) and Education Minister YB Dato Hj Hamzah (R). Photo: Rafidah Hamit/The Scoop

This year marks the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries that encompass cooperation in diplomatic, economic and security issues.

“Bruneians and Americans also connect by studying together,” said the ambassador, adding that Bruneians are attending US educational institutions to study, train and sharpen their skills.

During the event, guests had the opportunity to view a special exhibition on a collaborative project between Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US.

“This summer, the Bruneian and American professors and students will begin a partnership to trace the flight of bats with greater accuracy than has ever been done before in the world,” he added.

Ambassador Matthews said these exchanges were made possible through mutual security of the Bruneian and US militaries who have worked together for 35 years.

Present as guest of honour was the Minister of Education YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Hamzah Hj Sulaiman and his spouse, Datin Hjh Razina Hj Kassim.