Private sector to manage Berakas Forest Reserve park
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE private sector is expected to start managing the Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park in August this year, the minister of primary resources and tourism told the Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday.
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said the ministry has already issued a tender in January for the private sector to manage, operate and maintain the Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park.
Delivering his closing remarks during the final day of the 12th LegCo session yesterday, he said the deadline for receiving proposals from the private sector will be in May. “InsyaAllah, if PPP (public-private partnership) for the Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park is successful, this will be extended and shared with other agencies to develop other locations in the country’s tourist destinations to cater to local and foreign visitors,” he said.
The park, which is located in Brunei-Muara District, allows the public to do jungle trekking, cam-ping and biking.
YB Dato Hj Ali added that his ministry has already received numerous enquiries from various departments and ministries pertaining to adopting PPP.
With some modifications, this PPP model can serve as a basis for outsourcing the management, operation and maintenance of potential tourism sites as well as some other public facilities across the country, he said.
By implementing outsourcing and PPP method, he hoped it will not only be able to reduce government spending, but also provide investment and business opportunities for the private sector. “It is also expected to create job opportunities for the locals,” he added.
Responding to some LegCo members’ queries on tourism and fisheries activities in Tutong and Belait districts, he reiterated that the ministry’s main strategy is to strengthen the main tourism products of Kampong Ayer, Batang Duri and Ulu Temburong National Park in Temburong.
The ministry will also give attention to emerging products such as beaches, lakes, parks and forest reserves that are open to the public, and to develop tourism activities such as diving, boat watching, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), and Islamic tourism.
The ministry will also offer investment opportunities to government-linked companies and foreign investors, he added.
The Brunei Times