| Lyna Mohamad |
THE Senior Portfolio Manager of Nikko Asset Management Asia Ltd, Tan Eng Teck, pointed out that when the Asean Economic community opens up, the best way that Brunei Darussalam can play a big role is by providing the capital that this country needs to grow and from there Brunei’s growth can be built upon.
Once the country invests in the right infrastructure, it gives them 70 per cent returns and over the years it can become good for the country unless Brunei radically changes certain factors such as immigration policy and so forth.
Tan Eng Teck, one of the panelists participating in the discussion on Growth Dynamics of Asean Markets at the 10th annual Brunei Darussalam Roundtable 2014 yesterday, also shared how he believes the nation can spur development. With regard to the country’s tourism sector, he said that this sector was very challenging.
“Everyone wants to get a slice of the whole thing, so to create a niche for you will require a lot of surveys to be carried out to find what people really want,” he noted.
“I think Brunei’s advantage is the coastline and its stability. So that is something to highlight as good potential where as in the western world people tend to think of Asia as not as relatively safe as a lot of other places, so it is something you can develop.
“It is very challenging. The country needs to slowly get the right infrastructure, the right air links and the right niche for people to actually want to come here.
“The insurance sector on the other hand is a bit easier as it is all about preparations, regulations, how much they are willing to do it and opening an investment. Brunei in itself is a very liquid market in the sense that it really doesn’t need foreign bonds.
Then the insurance becomes like an investment, like a kind of insurance with some protection but potential to grow, which is very similar to Australia, except in Australia they don’t really have a huge insurance market, they have a bigger pension market.
“Brunei is small, and the biggest advantage that Brunei has is its capital because it has more capital than it needs due to its oil resources, due to very prudent management by the Ministry of Finance and the Brunei Investment Agency, which have accumulated huge resources invested sensibly over the years,” he concluded.