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Government committed to improve biz conditions

Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Roselan Hj Mohd Daud (C), Acting Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Nagma Mohamed Mallick (R), Indian High Commissioner to Brunei, at the product exhibition during India Investrade 2016 at the International Convention Centre. Picture: BT/Leo Kasim


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - BRUNEI will continue to create a conducive environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and improve its attractiveness to foreign investors in the coming years, a senior government official said yesterday.
Read more: Government committed to improve biz conditions

Ministry issues Zika advisory

BRUNEI-MUARA - IN VIEW of the current Zika virus situation affecting neighbouring countries, the Ministry of Health has issued an advisory to help keep the public informed and aware of the situation.

The advisory entitled ‘Protect yourself for Zika when travelling’ reads as:

School holidays have just begun and families across the country are taking the opportunity to travel for a fun-filled time with their children, families and friends. However, some people are understandably concerned about the Zika virus situation in affected countries and may be rethinking travel plans.

Although there are no reports of Zika virus in Brunei Darussalam, as a country we need to work together. Every person must play their part to prevent and control this disease, even those who are planning to travel abroad.

Before leaving the country, spend some time to ensure that your house is clean and free from mosquito breeding sites especially if you and your family will be away from home for a while. Environmental cleanliness is the key and we can prevent mosquito breeding sites by emptying, cleaning or covering containers that can hold even small amounts of water, such as plastic containers, buckets, flower pots and tyres.

A clean home free from mosquito breeding sites is one key aspect to keep us free from Zika. Remember, pregnant mothers are advised to postpone any non-essential travel to Zika affected countries. Others who are travelling are advised to take personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites during your trip. These include wearing long sleeves and light coloured clothing, applying insect-repellent regularly, and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with air conditioning or screens.

In the event that you or any of your family member become unwell, especially after returning from your trip, seek medical attention. It is also very important to note that at all times you must avoid mosquito bites before and after your trip to avoid further spread of the Zika virus. If your partner is pregnant and you have recently travelled to a Zika affected country, abstain from sex or adopt safer sexual practices for the subsequent duration of the pregnancy.

Zika virus currently has no treatment or vaccine and preventive measures are the best course of action to be taken to protect you and your family from becoming infected. Such measures are even more important for pregnant mothers or couples planning to have children as the virus can affect the unborn child. Arm yourself with information on the Zika virus available on the Ministry of Health website  or you can contact Talian Darussalam 123. Clean up, cover up and together we can prevent and control the Zika virus.

- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

China-Brunei oyster farm JV to create 200 jobs

Chan Yongson, chief operating officer of Guangxi Zhongli Enterprise Group, speaking to reporters at the CAEXPO in Nanning, China, yesterday. BT/Ak Md Khairuddin Pg Harun


NANNING, CHINA -THE Chinese company looking to establish an oyster farm joint venture with Brunei said the sultanate’s natural disaster-free climate, healthy marine environment and stable political climate will ensure the success of their investment.

Guangxi Zhongli Enterprise Group had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brunei Economic Development Board on Monday for their proposed investment to establish an oyster production operation in Brunei. The signing took place on the sidelines of the China-ASEAN Expo 2016 in Nanning.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer Chan Yongson told The Brunei Times that when fully implemented in five years, the entire operation will create 200 jobs for Bruneians.

“The project will be implemen-ted in three phases from setting up a hatchery to adult oyster farming and finally setting up the proces-sing facilities. When all three phases have been completed, we are projecting $100 million in our annual revenue.

“The oyster farming industry was worth over $20 billion to the global economy last year, mainly in Europe, so it is a high value market because currently demand for oysters far outstrips the supply in nearly every country including China at the moment,” he added.

Chan said 90 per cent of the oyster farm’s output is intended for export to the Middle East, India, Pakistan and neighbouring ASEAN countries where there are significant Muslim populations as the oyster produced in Brunei will bear the Bruneian halal certification mark.

“Much of the core technical team for this oyster farm will be from China as they have the ready expertise that is needed but locals will also be given training to handle the operations and share the knowledge with them.

“The locals will also be trained to carry out the necessary halal compliance procedures that will add value to our products,” he added.

Chan said they have yet to select a location for their proposed farm due to the particular needs of oyster farms.

“We are still working with the Fisheries Department to identify a suitable area as the needs for oyster farming is slightly complicated as juvenile oysters need to be raised in areas where freshwater and seawater intersect at river mouths before they can be transferred out to the sea to grow into adults,” he said.

“We need an area of 300 hectares in the South China Sea for our adult oysters but we would first also need to set up a hatchery for baby oysters,” he added.

Chan said the groundwork for this upcoming joint venture had already been laid by one of its partnering companies.

“Previously, there had been fruitful negotiations between Brunei’s Fisheries Department and Hai Hua, another Chinese company with the technology and expertise in oyster cultivation, on the possibility of cultivating oysters in the waters off Brunei’s shores,” he said.

“Hai Hua had already decided to invest in establishing an oyster farm in Brunei last year but the company suffered significant losses after their Chinese farms were damaged by a typhoon so they had to put the investment on hold,” he said.

The chief operating officer said despite Hai Hua’s losses, his company was nevertheless convinced that Brunei had the necessary characteristics needed for oyster farming to flourish.

“We knew that Hai Hua was facing financial problems (following the typhoon), so we decided to inject some capital into Hai Hua to allow us to partner with them in carrying out their plans to set up an oyster farm in Brunei.

“Hai Hua is known for having high expertise in the field of oyster cultivation so we want to combine their knowledge and technology and our financial backing and experience in international operations,” he said.

Chan said a new company will be registered with a government-linked company in Brunei for the joint venture, with his company being the majority shareholder and Hai Hua being a minority shareholder.

- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Progresif CEO leaving

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - TELECOMMUNICATIONS company Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd announced yesterday that its CEO Paul Hyde will be leaving the firm after having served in the leading role for just over two years.

In a press release, Progresif said that Roger Plahay, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, will assume the role of Acting CEO.

Hyde began his tenure as CEO during the establishment of Progresif in July 2014 after the company acquired operations from the now defunct B-Mobile. About a year later, the company officially launched its new brand and first flagship store in Tanjong Bunut.

Progresif said that the company has had major developments under Hyde’s leadership which includes replacement of its core network, ongoing expansion of network coverage and new cell sites to improve coverage.

The network development project was also given recognition earlier this year during the Asia Communications Awards in which Progresif first place for Project of the Year as well as Brand Campaign of the Year beating out larger telco companies in the region.

Progresif said that the company has started developing solutions to address the needs of corporate, enterprise and government entities alongside their commercial mobile offering after having their licences upgraded the regulatory authorities this year.

Now, the company has a subscriber base of over 150,000 from 20,000.

“Paul leaves the company in a strong position with a robust product and promotional roadmap in place for the fiscal year that will again bring about innovative solutions and more ‘firsts’ for Brunei,” the company said.

- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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