Bandar Seri Begawan: India and Brunei on Tuesday decided to boost defence ties by conducting joint military exercises as the two countries signed three agreements after Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari held talks with the top leadership here.
Ansari, on the first high-level trip from India since the establishment of diplomatic ties with resource-rich Brunei, witnessed the signing of the agreements in the field of health, and youth and sports affairs, besides defence.
In the defence sector, the two countries agreed for bilateral cooperation through exchange of visits at different levels; exchange of experience, information, training and trainers; conduct of joint military exercises, seminars and discussions; and cooperation between the defence industries.
Cooperation in defence between India and Brunei already exists in the form of naval ship visits, training of senior military officers in staff colleges and exchange of experience.
The framework agreement seeks to institutionalise this cooperation.
The agreements were reached on the second day of Ansari's visit here at a ceremony also attended by Brunei's Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Awang Halbi, Health Minister Haji Zulkarnain and Deputy Minister of Defence Abdul Aziz.
The agreement on health aims to establish cooperation by means of pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources and to upgrade the healthcare, medical education, research between the two countries.
The areas identified for bilateral cooperation under the agreement are exchange of doctors, other professionals and experts; exchange of information on health; medical and health research development; regulations of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics and to promote business development in these areas; and health promotion and disease prevention.
In the field of youth and sports affairs, the agreement provides a framework for exchanges of sports persons and sports teams; facilitate the exchange of expertise in coaching, sports talent identification, sports management and administration and exchange of information in the field of youth affairs.
Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs was the signatory on India's behalf in Brunei, the fourth largest producer of LNG in the world.