Private sector remains crucial in diversification drive

|    Hakim Hayat    |

THE role of the private sector remains vital in boosting Brunei’s economic diversification efforts and the government continues to push for more inward investments into the country by leveraging its strategic location and economic partnerships, Permanent Secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid said.

He made these remarks in his speech as the guest of honour at the Borneo Bulletin Yearbook (BBYB) Business Networking Session 2019 event held at the Royal Brunei Recreation Club in Berakas yesterday.

Haji Khairuddin also highlighted the strides made by Brunei as it moves forward to become more pro-business, adding that the record low oil prices in recent years have prompted the government to make extensive efforts to diversify its economy and encourage more foreign direct investment (FDI).

These efforts, he said, have proven to be fruitful as Brunei has successfully attracted interest from various international firms from Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Turkey, among others, in multi-faceted industries including food processing, manufacturing and tourism.

The permanent secretary also quoted a foreword message by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah in the BBYB 2019 where the minister underlined the government’s commitment to actively promote Brunei as an investment destination, “leveraging on its strategic location within ASEAN and trade arrangements with other countries”.

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil bin Pengiran Syed Haji Jaafari and CEO of QAF Group Albert Lau during the event
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Mui’iz bin Pengiran Indera Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pengiran Anak Haji Idris at the event
Permanent Secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid tours a mini exhibition accompanied by CEO of QAF Group Albert Lau and Acting General Manager of Brunei Press Sdn Bhd Hazizah Osman. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

Touching on the theme for the BBYB 2019, ‘Building Bridges – Gateway to ASEAN’, the permanent secretary said it aptly summarises Brunei’s important role in diversifying the economy and pushing economic boundaries.

He also highlighted the important role government-linked companies (GLCs) play in Brunei’s business landscape, noting that they provide employment opportunities and potential partnerships for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Other private companies play a big role in this as well,” he added.

Haji Khairuddin pointed out that in creating a more conducive business environment and increasing attractiveness for FDIs, Brunei continues to improve in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking over the years, adding that the implementation of Brunei Darussalam’s National Single Window (BDNSW) system is one of the many initiatives made by the government to provide a digital gateway and platform to ensure a pro-investor and pro-business environment.

  To this end, he said, the BBYB highlights the country’s investment potential, business opportunities, entrepreneurship landscape, banking and finance industry, FDI initiatives, the energy sector and other important areas for investors considering starting a business in Brunei as well as existing businesses seeking comprehensive information on the country.

The BBYB, published by Brunei Press Sdn Bhd and first going into circulation in 1993, is the most comprehensive guide to Brunei Darussalam, offering key information on the country with special focus on its main and emerging industries.