Meet My Country: Brunei, With Hon. Iswandy Ahmad and Dr. Vanessa Teo


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Legislative Council member Iswandy Ahmad and agricultural entrepreneur Dr. Vanessa Teo talk about their homeland Brunei – the independent Islamic sultanate on the island of Borneo. Brunei boasts a well-educated population, excellent infrastructure, and a stable government. It is a member of the Commonwealth and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Since the discovery of petroleum resources in the 1920s, Brunei’s economy has largely been dependent on gas and oil revenues, making it one of the highest per capita income countries in Asia. The government has recognized the need to diversify the country’s economy, a topic which our speakers are also concerned about.

3:35 Background information on Brunei

6:08 Iswandy and Vanessa’s views on Brunei, and where it stands today

9:43 The monarchy and its visions

19:36 The agricultural sector which is highly technology-driven

31:17 Iswandy and Vanessa’s recommendations on places to visit and food to try in Brunei

Your host: Denise Staubli, Program Manager, Asia Society Switzerland
Moderator: Simona Grano, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Taiwan Studies Project at the University of Zurich (UZH)
The Honourable Iswandy Ahmad, Member of the Legislative Council of Brunei as Person who has Achieved Distinction
Dr. Vanessa Teo, Founder of Agrome, an agriculture technology platform
Production: Denise Staubli

Show Notes

Progresif Radio

Chop Jing Chew (in Bandar Seri Begawan), a restaurant developed in 1946 which serves tea and toast, and is a melting pot of the younger and older population

Hiking trails e.g. in the Ulu Temburong National Park to watch the sunset

Nasi Katok: white rice, chicken and sauce

Asia Society Switzerland webcast A Closer Look at Brunei with The Honourable Iswandy Ahmad and Dr. Vanessa Teo, June 3, 2021

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