(WASHINGTON) — Meeting with the wealthy Sultan of Brunei on Tuesday, President Obama couldn’t help but joke that Hassanal Bolkiah could help boost the U.S. economy during his visit.
Obama told reporters after their meeting at the White House that the sultan and his family plan to visit New York. “We’re going to encourage him to do some shopping because we want to continue to strengthen the U.S. economy,” Obama quipped.
The sultan is estimated to be worth roughly $20 billion.
The president also noted that Hassanal Bolkiah piloted his own 747 to Washington. “I think he’s probably the only head of state in the world who flies a 747 himself,” Obama said. “So in case Air Force One pilots have problems, we know who to consult.”
Obama thanked the sultan for his “outstanding leadership and his friendship” and praised him as a “key leader in the Southeast Asia region.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Holly Yan and Euan McKirdy, CNN Newswire
Greg Botelho, CNN Newswire