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


BY 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. In his speech during the launch of India Investrade 2016 at the International Convention Centre, Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Roselan Hj Mohd Daud, in his capacity as Acting Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the sultanate will continue to improve in areas such as access to finance and wider markets, access to industrial space and access to effective development programmes.

“We will improve our policy directions, regulations and processes to ensure that we remain relevant and appropriate to address their (business) needs and the needs of the markets,” he said during the opening of the three-day event.

Dato Hj Mohd Roselan said that Brunei will also strive to improve its business ranking to make the business environment more conducive for local businesses and overseas investors.

He noted that the country has taken steps to streamline business processes by cutting down red tape and bureaucratic processes while also improving other areas such as online registration of business and the ability to set up a business within 24 hours.

He said that the establishment of Darussalam Enterprise (DARE), which is tasked with nurturing local companies, would help monitor the progress of SMEs and encourage growth.

At the Business Support Centre, which is run by DARE, the acting minister said that all the approval processes are centralised in order to cut down processing time significantly.

“Our aim is to increase and strengthen our private sector in the local economy and to attract more foreign investors to invest in Brunei,” he said.

On the part of foreign investments, he said that economic reforms such as the establishment of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Downstream Industry Committee would help hasten approval processes.

He added that these initiatives answer to the call made by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, for renewed efforts to improve exports beyond oil and gas such as in agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, services, logistics and tourism.

He also said that Brunei is focused on growing in the five key investment business clusters of halal, technology and creative industry, business services, tourism and downstream oil and gas, in addition to the promotion of culture and heritage through the development of premium handicraft.

In his presentation during the event, Rajeev Singh, Director General of the Kolkata based Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), said there are opportunities to expand trade between India and Brunei to pharmaceutical products and include infrastructure investments.

“The ICC is keen to increase our level of engagements with Brunei in order to improve trade,” he said.

Singh led an Indian delegation which comprised of over 30 business representatives from various industries including electronics, machinery and textiles.

 Presentations were also given by the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) on investing in Brunei, as well as presentations from the Export-Import Bank of India.

 Apart from a product exhibition by India-based business, the event also features a business networking session for companies today to find areas for mutual cooperation.

- Courtesy of The Brunei Times