Brunei, Pakistan look into ways to boost trade

National 1 minute, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI and Pakistan are seeking ways to boost trade by overcoming costly transportation barriers.

Brunei High Commissioner to Pakistan Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mahmud Hj Saidin said Pakistani agricultural products such as rice and mangoes were popular in the sultanate but that the high cost of transport impeded the growth of trade volume.

Addressing businessmen at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Monday, Dato Hj Mahmud said the Karachi-based Pak-Brunei Investment Company is actively working towards the promotion of bilateral trade.

The company, a joint venture between the Pakistan government and the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), began operations in August 2007 with start-up capital of $40 million. The company has a current equity worth $120 million, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.

“It has been investing in real estate and hotel industry in various countries and certainly, it will assess economic potential of Pakistan to explore opportunities for future investment,” the High Commissioner was quoted as saying by the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times.

He added that the Brunei government was looking at making Faisalabad’s textile sector more attractive and profitable for Bruneian investors.

“We have to take measures to make local textile products competitive as compared to the similar products from China and Bangladesh,” he said.

Pakistani High Commissioner to Brunei, Brigadier (R) Muhammed Zareef Malik, said Islamabad is also keen to explore opportunities for joint ventures in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

“There is a new window of investment and opportunity over here. Now is the time for Pakistani investors to come over here by the end of the year to see the possibilities,” he told The Brunei Times in a previous report.

“Trade is very minimal at the moment, we need a greater movement of people between Pakistan and Brunei in order to make business contacts and see the potential.”

The Brunei Times