Many FDIs under implementation stage: BEDB
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) said they are currently and quickly evaluating a number of foreign direct investment (FDI) prospects, and that there are already numerous FDIs under the implementation stage.
Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, who is also the deputy minister of finance, recently told The Brunei Times that the country is currently helping these FDIs with the sites and construction of their plants, among others.
“We are also talking to a number of new investors coming in. They are not here yet, but we are finalising a number of negotiations. Attracting FDIs normally take a bit of time due to evaluations, among others,’’ he said.
At the same time, the chairman said they are also going abroad to meet people and promote Brunei as an attractive environment for investors. “The BEDB has been attending talks and conferences for Brunei to be seen out there, and we will continue to do more. We will also need to identify the more strategic forums and conferences that we should attend to get the maximum exposure, and not just to go to any one,” he said.
Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin said Brunei welcomes all investors, as long as the nature of their activities is conducive to the local environment.
“Like all FDIs, we encourage them to create spin-offs for our local SMEs, so that when they come here, the services that they may need will be taken care of by our SMEs to support them,” he said.
For a lot of these services, Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin said if the FDIs were to do it themselves, it will be more expensive, such as bringing in their expatriates which will be more costly for them.
With this in mind, he said that DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) and FDIs can work together to create new businesses. “It is not just about what we have today and how the existing businesses can help. FDIs will bring about new SMEs and business opportunities to fulfil their needs,” he said.
The chairman and deputy finance minister said FDIs also need to look at employing locals, and this is where over time, there will be more technology transfer to Bruneians.
Apart from business processes, there are also management skills as part of knowledge transfer, he said.
Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin said there are also FDIs who became interested in setting up operations in the sultanate after coming to Brunei and finding the environment conducive.
“We, the BEDB, are in the process of facilitating these investors to continue to engage them and hopefully close the deals,” he said.
He said FDIs – which will help diversify Brunei’s economy – are not a new initiative and have been talked about for many years.
“We need FDIs because as a small economy, we need them to set up their operations here, create more economic activities and hire and transfer technology to our people, as well as help export whatever they produce here and increase our GDP,” he said.
He said for FDIs to be successful, it needs the collaboration of all the various agencies.
“I see FDIs as a multi-agency effort. The Invest in Brunei Darussalam FAST Centre (FDI Action and Support Centre) is working very closely with BEDB and DARe, among many others, along with all the government ministries, and this collaboration is how we can make FDIs successful,” he said.
The Brunei Times