Brunei, China form aquaculture joint venture
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A CHINESE aquaculture company will establish a joint venture (JV) with a local partner to cultivate and export golden pompano fish worth $300 million of output per year, the minister of primary resources and tourism said.
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said Guangxi Hiseaton Foods will partner with a government-linked company to operate an offshore aquaculture farm in the coastal waters of Pelong Rocks later this year.
“(The JV) is not only limited to an offshore aquaculture farm, but also a hatchery, a processing factory as well as a research and development centre,” the minister said on the sidelines of a Nuzul Al-Quran celebration yesterday.
The joint venture, which will be known as Hiseaton Fisheries (B) Sdn Bhd, will bring in juvenile fish from China before raising and processing them here.
YB Dato Hj Ali said the United States and Middle East are being eyed as export markets for the aquaculture products.
He added that the research and development centre that will be established will focus on conducting research trials on larval fish rearing.
The research will test the feasibility of larval golden pompano rearing in Brunei and will also include trials for fish feed as the JV also aims to manufacture their own fish feed in the future, the minister said.
The government and Hiseaton Fisheries yesterday signed a tenancy agreement for the JV to operate the research and development centre in Meragang.
Director of Hiseaton Fisheries (B) Sdn Bhd Liu Xi Lei and Acting Director of Fisheries Department Abdul Halidi Salleh signed the agreement at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The minister went on to say that the JV is expected to create about 100 jobs and will occupy 2,000 hectares of the country’s offshore aquaculture sites.
“This is one of the ways the country can diversify its economy and hopefully with this big aquaculture company coming, it will spur more investors to come to Brunei,” he said.
YB Dato Hj Ali added that the sultanate currently has 16,000 hectares of offshore aquaculture sites available, which is being opened for proposals to local and international investors including a 4,624-hectare site at Littledale Shoals.
Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Yang Jian recently told _The Brunei Times _that the joint venture is one of the projects under the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGEC).
The BGEC was established in 2014 as a direct supply chain link aimed at boosting trade and investment between the two places.
“There are many projects that are being discussed under the BGEC but so far only the fishery project (the JV) has gone through but I know that the government officials and business circles on both sides are in close contact with each other,” she said.
She added that the Guangxi province is also looking at the possibility of starting a small industrial park in the sultanate similar to the Kuantan Industrial Park that they established in Malaysia.
“During the China-ASEAN Expo in September this year, the two sides will have the chance to meet again (and) we hope to see good results from the meeting,” she said.
The Brunei Times