Canada keen to help build Brunei infrastructure
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI needs to invest more on its infrastructure by creating more partnership opportunities with other countries especially Canada, said the newly-appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei yesterday.
Marina Laker said that Canada has a number of companies specialising in infrastructure development and that she is keen in helping both countries find more partnerships in the area.
Following her recent appointment as the new envoy in Brunei, Laker visited Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd, Brunei’s first Pharmaceutical Plant and witnessed how Brunei is trying to replicate the pharmaceutical industry in Canada.
Simpor Pharma was established with the aims of producing Syariah-compliant pharmaceutical products to be exported to Muslim markets in Asia.
The plant is a $26-million joint-venture between Canadian Firm Viva Pharmaceutical Inc, private equity fund Aureous (Brunei) Capital Sdn Bhd and a group of local investors.
Additionally, Brunei also established the CAE Brunei Multipurpose Training Centre (MPTC) in 2012, housing aircraft and disaster management simulators aimed at training not only locals but also those living around the region.
The MPTC, which began operating in September last year, was a $100-million joint-venture between Canada-based CAE and Brunei’s Ministry of Finance.
Laker was speaking to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of a pre-departure briefing held yesterday for six Grade 12 graduates from the Jerudong International School (JIS) who will be continuing their studies in Canada.
Asked about whether they are any plans to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brunei’s higher learning institutions on programmes including student exchanges, Laker said there is no such agreements being developed yet.
However, Laker said that having the MoU is something that she is prepared to consider.
She added that Canada currently has government-to-government agreement with other countries where students can travel for internships and summer jobs.
“Something like this is really important because it is people-to-people ties that makes bilateral relationship grow and that business ties is also really important (for countries),” she said.
The Brunei Times