Minister: Foreign investors can benefit from PA rule

National 1 minute, 30 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FOREIGN investors can take advantage of their ability to acquire land through strata title and leasehold, the development minister said yesterday.

Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah said the power of attorney (PA) rule, which prevents non-Bruneians from purchasing land in perpetuity, won’t necessarily drive away investors.

This was in response to a concern raised during the meeting of the 12th Session of the Legislative Council (LegCo) by LegCo Member Yang Berhormat Hj Awang Ahmad Morshidi POKDSDDLU Hj Awg Abdul Rahman on how the status of the PA rule might hinder foreign investments.

But YB Dato Hj Bahrin said they have received approvals on the proposed solution pertaining to the issue of PA and that the details of the proposed solution will be shared with the relevant stakeholders in the near future.

“Foreign investors and businesses can rest assured that the proposed solution for PA and trust teeds will not have a negative impact on the ease of doing business,” he said.

He said the ministry has allocated 1,533 hectares of land for industrial use to attract more foreign investments.

Another 5,375 hectares have been identified and will be reserved for industrial activity should there be a need for more land in the future.

“In short, there are no issues for foreign investors to attain land to be used for carrying out industrial businesses,” he said.

The minister said the PA rule is in place to safeguard the interests of Bruneians and to ensure that the land in the sultanate remains a property of its citizens.

In March 2012, the Ministry of Development announced the policy which voided land ownership through PA.

This has raised concerns that it might deter investors from coming into the country and was also discussed in last year’s LegCo meeting.

The Brunei Times