MUSCAT – Ithraa will be welcoming a Brunei trade delegation headed by Dato Paduka Haji Ali Awang bin Haji Apong, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of Brunei’s Economic Development Board (BEDB), next week.
According to a report by Zawya, topics up for discussion will include how to increase trade and investment links particularly in the oil and gas, and food and beverage sectors as well as opportunities open to Omani businesses looking to improve commercial ties with Brunei and further penetrate the growing Asean market.
Sheikh Ali Al Balushi, Acting Deputy Chairman, Ithraa, said, “Following our visit to Brunei in April 2014, we are looking to strengthen trading and investment ties with Brunei, an economy that is at the heart of one of the fastest growing regional economies in the world. Indeed, it provides an excellent regional base for Omani companies looking to expand beyond Brunei’s domestic market.”
Brunei’s economy is dominated by the oil and gas sector, which provides over 60 per cent of GDP and over 90 per cent of foreign exports.
While developing the downstream side of oil and gas, the Brunei government is also actively encouraging economic diversification, including the development of a knowledge economy.
“Ithraa’s fully committed to opening new markets for Omani businesses in Southeast Asia, which we know will sustain and create local jobs and prosperity.
“During our trip to Brunei last year, we saw the potential that exists within this emerging market.
“For instance, Brunei’s manufacturing sector has the potential to develop new industries both within and beyond the oil and gas industry not only through the utilisation of its rich biodiversity and natural resources but also its strategic location in the Asean region. In this regard, there are certainly opportunities for Omani companies to explore,” said Ithraa’s Director General of Investment, Faris Al Farsi.
The BEDB is particularly interested in the food industry and is looking to attract major food and food ingredients companies into the country for exports. Brunei also has the potential to establish R&D centres for the development of innovative nutritional products through the utilisation of authentic local food ingredients that can lead to the manufacturing and processing of customised food products for global markets.
With approximately 600 million consumers, a growing middle class and abundant natural resources, Southeast Asia is a region of significant and growing economic interest to many Omani businesses.