THE Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday made a new commitment towards the implementation of the Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor (BIC) by partnering with the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China and Chile.
The Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) has stepped up its effort towards implementation of the Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomus Region of People’s Republic of China yesterday, looking to explore opportunities in creating a new supply chain linking Brunei and Guangxi.
In addition to the interest from Japan, Korea and Europe, new initiatives with a number of countries in South America that is interested in exporting Halal-certified food into the Chinese market have been established.
Brunei is well positioned to bridge the gap between Europe, South America and China. Food commodities eventually destined for China, and using Brunei as an intermediate for processing, often attract very low or no import duties in China. Whereas, food commodities directly exported from Europe and South American countries into China often attract higher import duties, making the operations commercially unviable.
The Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor, a Halal-themed industrial park, would benefit firms using Brunei as an intermediate, gaining footprints into Asean and China.
What is the Bio Innovation Corridor?
The BioInnovation Corridor (BIC) is an initiative led by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam.
The Bio Innovation Corridor intends to develop an internationally-renowned Halal-themed industry park as part of the wider economic diversification strategy.
The BIC masterplan measures 500 hectares and is strategically located to the northwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, the cultural, economic and political capital of Brunei Darussalam.
BIC capitalises on Brunei’s unique offerings on higher and unadulterated Halal-certified food and non-food products, and its gateway status into the Borneo Island and the BIMP (Brunei Darussalam – Indonesia – Malaysia – Philippines) East Asean Growth Area (EAGA), China, Korea and Japan.
Why is Brunei Darussalam a platform for Halal food production?
Brunei Darussalam is no more than three hours by flight into Southern China. Domestic flights between major cities within China are often more than three hours.
Other than its strategic location, Brunei offers attractive and simple taxation systems. There is no minimum wage, zero personal income tax, zero General Sales Tax and zero capital gain tax.
In addition, for qualifying industries, firms can be offered up to eight years of corporate tax reduction as well as tax credits for hiring local persons for up to three years.
Brunei has preferential access to China and Asean members. This arrangement is particularly useful for countries that do not have arrangement with Asean or China.
The Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor would host firms that import food commodities into Brunei. In Brunei, processing would take place to fulfil the requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Origin, followed by export to destination.
What are the potentials for Halal certified food in Asean and China?
The market for Halal-certified food in Asean and China is large. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. China also has a large population of Muslims across the country.
High quality Halal certified food products are also an attractive proposition to all customers in China. Concern of food quality, provenance and handling is deeply embedded into the minds and hearts of the Chinese consumer.
Food products made in Brunei have the potential of being regarded as highly valuable to Chinese consumers.