| Wani Roslan |
A PRESS conference on economic expansion and bilateral trade between Taiwan and Brunei was held yesterday at Kaizen Sushi Japanese Restaurant in the capital.
Albert Huang, Representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei Darussalam, said, “Taiwan and Brunei can expand economic and trade cooperation if we are able to sign the related agreements such as Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA), Protection of Investment Agreement (PIA) and the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (ADTA).In the meantime, Brunei can support Taiwan to join Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).”
In 2012, the bilateral trade amount between Taiwan and Brunei reached over US$71 million while in 2013, over US$92 million and from January to November 2014, the amount hit a historic high of around US$442 million, an increase of nearly 380%.
“We are quite sure that it will significantly reduce bilateral tariffs on products entering each other’s markets, attract investment from Taiwan businessmen, create job opportunities for Bruneians and improve products to market liberalisation and facilitation,” explained Albert Huang. “Taiwan will definitely increase purchases of Brunei’s oil and natural gas,” he said.
Taiwan ranks number one worldwide for its semiconductor foundry services, number two in LED panel production and number three in machine tool export volume which accounts for over 80% of the global market share of the automotive parts.
Taiwan is also quite well known for its high-end agriculture. Both Taiwan and Brunei can strengthen mutual cooperation in agriculture and fishery in line with Brunei’s policy and encourage Taiwan farmers and fishermen to invest to lower their dependence on import of foreign food.
Albert Huang said that the main import items of Taiwan from Brunei in January to November 2014 were oil products (US$388 million), organic chemicals (US$29 million) and sea food and amount of Taiwan export to Brunei in January to November 2014 was around US$24 million where the main export items are construction iron and steel, plastic product and machine equipment.
It is hoped that the economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and Brunei will be mutually beneficial and provide tremendous assistance in helping Brunei achieve in diversifying its economy in line with the National Vision 2035.
Andy Chen, Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei Darussalam, was also present during the press conference.