Brunei Darussalam sees Germany as an important economic partner, both bilaterally and in the context of the dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU).
The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since Brunei Darussalam gained independence in 1984. Bilateral ties have been strengthened through a number of high-level visits, such as the visit by Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dato Erywan, to Germany in September 2022, the visit by Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Bandar Seri Begawan in 1997 and the state visit to Germany in 1998 by the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, as well as further visits by the Sultan in 2002 and 2011, and the Crown Prince’s trip to Germany in 2006 to attend the FIFA World Cup. Delegations from the German Bundestag travelled to Brunei Darussalam in February 2007 and again in January 2011. In 2019, Education Minister Dato Hamza visited Berlin for talks on vocational training, including at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In 2021, Brunei took over the Chairmanship of ASEAN for one year.
Bilateral relations are focused on the economic sector. As Germany imports neither oil nor gas from Brunei Darussalam (which accounted for around 70% of all exports from the country in 2021), trade is very unbalanced in Germany’s favour. It supplies a wide range of industrial goods to Brunei Darussalam (motor vehicles, machinery, medical technology and capital goods), as well as services (Lufthansa Technik, Detecon, Dermalog, Lürssen Defence, Allianz). The most important current project is the construction of a fertiliser plant by ThyssenKrupp, whose technical handover was in December 2022 and the ceremonial handover on 25 February 2023