Economic blueprint sets $9.5b for 826 key projects

National 3 minutes, 15 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI's 2007-2012 economic blueprint has outlined 826 projects that will be financed by a $9.5-billion budget in a bid to strengthen the sultanate's economy. The allocation represents an increase of 30 per cent from the previous RKN.

Banking and Finance: The Brunei International Financial Centre will continue to grow with the introduction of new initiatives, such as establishing an Islamic capital market in the country and promoting the country as a hub for Islamic finance and banking.

Tourism: Three sectoral targets to be achieved increase in number of tourists staying in paid accommodation by minimum of seven per cent annually; increase in the average hotel occupancy rates to 50 to 60 per cent by 2008; and increase in tourism-related employment from about 5,350 jobs in 2004 to not less that 8,000 jobs by 2010.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION

Amongst the projects to be implemented in the plan include:

1) The Second Lane of the Seria-By-Pass (road sector)

2) Upgrading the CNS/ATM Facilities and the Replacement of Airfield Lighting System (civil aviation sector)

3) The Replacement of New Submarine Cable System (telecommunications sector)

3) Phase II of the RTB New Broadcasting Complex (radio and television sector)

4) The New Kuala Belait Post Office (postal services sector)

5) Extension of Ports Department Headquarter Building (marine and port sector)

SOCIAL SERVICES

National Housing: Focus of improvements will be on the planning on coordination activities. This sector is allocated $1,556 million to construct more than 9,000 housing units and open up new areas for housing.

Health: This sector will focus on four areas: national health emergency preparedness; improvement of health quality and management and staffs' proficiencies; improvement in hospital services and facilities; and improvement of primary health care services. Some of the projects to be implemented include the construction of National Medicine Storage Building, the Tutong Dialysis Centre, the Rimba Health Centre, improving scientific laboratory, diagnostic and regulatory functions, and developing capacities to handle health emergencies, such as outbreaks of infectious diseases.

HRD and Education: An important feature in RKN 2007-2012 is the implementation of more research and development programmes and projects.

These are meant to narrow the gap that exist between Brunei and its neighbouring countries in the field of science, technology and innovation, particularly research and development. Several projects will be implemented, including: HRD Fund; R&D Fund; Sixth Form Centre, Sengkurong Phase 1; Science College, Kuala Belait; Science College, Kupang, Tutong; and a new complex for Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah College of Nursing.

Environment: Projects include Construction of New Waste Disposal Sites; Rehabilitation of Coastal Protection Works for Pelompong Spit; and Cleaning Up of Brunei River Phase 1.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

Electricity: The generation capacity will be increased by 122 MW. The Berakas Power Company, Brunei-Muara and Temburong electrical systems will be interconnected. More public lighting will be installed in all districts.

At the same time, the electricity requirement of the Sungai Liang Industrial Park and the Pulau Muara Besar project will be provided by special funds or by independent power producers.

Water Supply: By the end of RKN 2007-2012, water resources will have increased by around 89 million per cubic metres, to ensure the availability of raw water even during dry season.

Water treatment capacity will be increased to $628 million per day by the end of RKN 2007-2012, against project demand of around 427.9 million litres per day. The replacement of aging pipes will continue. New membrane filtration system will be used in water treatment plant to improve the quality of water.

Sewerage: By the end of RKN 2007-2012, the percentage of population connected to the centralised sewerage system will be increased by three per cent to around 40 per cent.

Drainage: More drainage infrastructure projects will be implemented in flood-prone areas, such as upgrading of drains and outlets, and canals and retention pond construction projects. These projects will reduce the flood prone areas by around 74 per cent.

PUBLIC BUILDING

The Extension of the Maraburong Prison Phase 3 and Construction of Additional Block for the Ministry of Health.

The Brunei Times