Introducing Brunei to foreign investors

By Sonia K & Yusrin Junaidi in Nanning

The seminar in progress.

Director of Tourism Development Department Sheikh Jamaluddin
presenting a talk on ‘Explore Brunei Darussalam’.

Director of Promotion and Facilitation Service Hjh Asmah delivering
a speech.

Latif Sani briefing foreign investors on the development of
the Brunei Halal brand.

Some of the foreign investors at the event.

The Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) yesterday held “Business Investment Seminar and
Business Networking” at Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Nanning, China to
promote business and investment opportunities in tourism, agribusiness, halal industry, and information and
communication technology (ICT) among foreign investors.

At the seminar, Director of Tourism Development Department Sheikh Jamaluddin delivered a paper on
“Explore Brunei Darussalam”, which was aimed at marketing Brunei’s undiscovered tourism potential in the
competitive regional market.

Brunei is offering opportunities to overseas industry partners and media to position the country as a
distinctive, exciting and undiscovered travel destination in Asia.

Meanwhile, on hand to deliver a welcoming speech was Director of Promotion and Facilitation Service at the
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Hjh Asmah Haji Saman.

She said Brunei and Chinese governments are committed to the expansion of the commercial relationship
between the two countries.

Bilateral trade between China and Brunei Darussalam, she said, is increasing steadily with trade in the first
seven months of this year at 73 per cent or US$157 million.

“China is Brunei Darussalam’s 10th most important trading partner and people-to-people contact last year,”
she said. “About 30,00 tourists from China visited Brunei for holiday and business.”

Brunei’s key export to China is mineral fuel, while its imports from China are mainly manufactured goods,
appliances, machineries and transport equipment, she added.

With regards to investment climate and destination, Brunei Darussalam offers both favourable and
conducive environment.

According to Hajah Asmah, the living conditions in Brunei Darussalam are among the best in the region, and
investors may find that the high standard of living makes their stay thoroughly enjoyable and most secure as
the crime rate and the degree of population are among the lowest in the world.

She also said Brunei Darussalam has the least taxes in the region.

“For business, only companies are subjected to income tax, which is one of the lowest in the region. Sole
proprietorship and partnership businesses are not subjected to income tax, while corporate income tax will
decrease from 27.5 per cent to 25.5 per cent in 2009,” she said.

Furthermore, attractive incentives are available for both local and foreign investors. Application procedures
for incentives have been simplified and further tax incentives for investors, including a long corporate to
cover export-oriented manufacturing and services, research and development, transhipment, venture capital
activities, overseas investment companies and new technology companies.

Better coordination and facilitation of industrial activities, especially on licensing and industrial building
approvals, have also been undertaken, she added.

On the development of the “Brunei Halal” brand, Hajah Asmah said, “The
shift to agribusiness and export-oriented manufacturing, food
processing and services are examples of new initiatives of the
which should prove attractive to investors and entrepreneurs alike.”

New high technology investment, such as biotechnology manufacturing, ICT and high technology farming
and fisheries, is also actively promoted, she said, adding that Brunei is now on track in its commitment
towards assisting the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative, which is the largest conservation project.

The seminar also highlighted the national drive to promote and develop the Brunei Halal brand, offering
opportunities for Brunei and international businesses to tap the lucrative global halal market, which is
estimated at $560 billion.

Menawhile, Brunei ICT companies, Alif Technologies Sdn Bhd and Cyberunai eServices, extended their
invitation to potential businesses to partner in the commercial development of Geo Tracker and “Pasang
Emas” respectively.

Yesterday’s seminar also provided a platform for interested investors and enterprises to meet and network
with their Brunei counterparts and relevant government officials while obtaining detailed information on
business and investment opportunities and incentives on offer.

The Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources also took the opportunity to invite companies to participate
in the International Halal Product Expo and International Halal Marketing Conference in Brunei Darussalam
next year.