Foreign investors record $178m in earnings

National 2 minutes, 46 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AS OF December 2015, a total of $178 million in earnings have been generated by six foreign invested companies since they began operations in the sultanate in 2010.

According to the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, the six companies have invested a total of $1.15 billion and have provided employment to 346 Bruneians.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar was responding to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad’s question on how many foreign investors have set up shop in Brunei to date, at the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) sitting yesterday.

The minister said these six companies are Amann Shipping Sdn Bhd, Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd, CAE MPTC Sdn Bhd, Golden Corporation (B) Sdn Bhd, SBI Islamic Fund and Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd.

He explained the government is a shareholder in the Brunei Methanol Company (BMC) through PetroleumBRUNEI.

The Brunei government also has holdings in Amann Shipping, CAE, SBI Islamic Fund and Simpor Pharma through the Strategic Development Capital Fund under the Ministry of Finance.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin added that Amann Shipping, CAE, SBI Islamic Fund and Simpor Pharma are foreign firms which were brought in by the Strategic Development Capital Fund into Brunei.

In response to YB Hj Mohd Shafiee’s question on whether any research has been conducted on overseas investors’ response on investing here, the minister said no study has been conducted specifically on FDI.

However, he said the FDI Committee and the Downstream Industry have embarked on a study to identify effective methods in preparing a transparent and streamlined platform for FDIs.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin also responded to YB Hj Mohd Shafiee’s question regarding the number of local entrepreneurs who have set up joint venture companies with foreign investors..

The minister said so far, only Gold Coin Sdn Bhd and Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd have participated in joint ventures with local businesses.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said the government will ensure that every foreign company investing in the sultanate will generate spin-offs for the benefit of local SMEs, provide employment opportunities for local jobseekers and help to generate more income for the national coffers.

When asked by YB Hj Mohd Shafiee on the criteria required by investors to come into Brunei, the minister said there is a tax exemption as an incentive provided by the government under the Investment Incentives Order of 2011.

Other incentives, he said, are in the form of tax rebates or tax credits given to the companies recruiting Bruneians to work for them.

There is also a priority tariff such as rental for land, water and electricity, the minister said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said another criteria is joint investment, which is provided by the government through the Strategic Development Capital Fund at the Ministry of Finance; as well as having skilled workers who possess specific qualifications appropriate to the relevant field.

The minister said cooperation with the National Manpower Planning Council is essential to ensure the qualifications of local personnel match with the type of posts required by the FDI companies.

The minister said the government has also imposed a specific condition where the FDI company must produce for export, as well as employ local workers.

The Brunei Times