‘Visa waiver would help boost trade with Taiwan’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
VISA exemptions for Taiwanese are needed to increase and strengthen trade between Brunei and Taiwan, said the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei.
In a recent interview, Jason Wan said Taiwan has many “ambitious” plans for trade with Brunei that cover agriculture, oil and gas and healthcare.
“In Asia, we are exempted from visas when we visit Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. Why is it in Brunei we need a visa?” he said.
Currently, Taiwanese are eligible for a visa on arrival in Brunei.
Wan said many Taiwanese companies wish to increase their presence in the country and bring in their technology that can increase Brunei's “abundant” natural resources.
“In Taiwan, we have the Tropical Fruit Research Centre, where we are able to grow larger than average tropical fruits such as guavas and mangoes through scientific research.
“The tropical fruits in Brunei are more diverse, considering this is a tropical country, (so) Brunei can benefit from Taiwan’s agricultural technology (to) produce these larger than average tropical fruits to be exported,” added Wan.
Navy Chen, director of Taiwanese firm Kuo Sen Enterprise Co Ltd, said the oil and gas industry can also benefit from Taiwan investors as they have the technology to diversify the industry.
“Brunei has plenty of natural crude oil and natural gas that, with the right technology, can be processed into materials for various products,” he said.
He said a lot of Taiwanese companies would invest in Brunei if the sultanate removes barriers such as visas for Taiwan nationals and speeds up the process of obtaining a permit to establish a factory here.
“If this can be achieved, it will bring a lot of foreign investment to Brunei and elevate the country’s economy,” said Chen.
He went on to say that it could also boost tourism to the sultanate as a number of Taiwanese people are interested in spending their vacation here.
“Brunei is very calm and peaceful. It’s a good place for us to relax and de-stress ourselves,” he said.
However, Chen said Taiwan residents prefer to travel to Malaysia and Thailand due to visa exemptions.
The Brunei Times