Canada drug firm to build halal facility

By Fitri Shahminan 


A CANADA-based pharmaceutical company is keen to build a Brunei
facility that will make halal pharmaceutical products for the Muslim
world, the High Commissioner of Canada yesterday said during a new year celebration held at the commissioner’s residence
yesterday, Wendell Sanford said the project could cost US$12 million,
but added the figure is still not confirmed.

Other details of the project were not available, but the envoy said the project is “already in its final stages”.

The company, whose name the envoy declined to reveal for now, is a specialised pharmaceutical firm based in Vancouver.

He said company officials are scheduled to come to Brunei this year.

“They are in the final stages of putting together a project which
will build a facility in Brunei to make pharmaceutics to the halal
standard for exports from Brunei to the Muslim world,” Sanford said.

As Canada is always seeking for investment opportunities and
projects with Brunei, he also told The Brunei Times of his interest in
helping the government of Brunei in its Heart of Borneo (HoB) project.

“We are certainly interested in cooperations that can be brought
together by the two countries (Brunei and Canada),” Sanford answered,
when asked if Canada would be interested in helping out Brunei’s HoB
plans, although no immediate plans were released.

A press statement from the high commission said that trade and
investment between Canada and Brunei are still at a modest level and
have yet to reach their full potential.

“Investment by both sides and partnering ventures could greatly
contribute to enlarging each other’s market base and presence in their
respective region,” it said.

“These positive factors have strengthened Canada’s recent export
success in Brunei. While modest in proportion to overall Canadian
exports, merchandise exports to Brunei surged to C$18.2 million in
Brunei in 2008, an increase since 2006.” Canadian merchandise imports
from Brunei remained modest on the other hand, it said.

“Bilateral trade has been complemented by increasing Canadian
investment and trade in services assisted by expressed interest to
expand the Canadian presence in a number of sectors in Brunei,” the
statement said.

It noted Canadian firms’ presence in Brunei, noting “several
Canadian firms have made considerable inroads in the environmental
services sector in Brunei and have established very successful joint
ventures with local companies, mainly in the areas of soil remediation
and the treatment of waste oil for Brunei Shell Petroleum.”

The Royal Bank of Canada was the first foreign bank to be granted
the first offshore licence to start operation in Brunei, the statement
said .

National Petroleum (Calgary) is also involved in the exploration of Block L in the northeastern part of Brunei.

Canadian companies are also active in the information communication technology sector, the statement said.

The Brunei Times