Australia’s Northern Territory beckons Bruneian businesses

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Northern Territory state of Australia can be an attractive option for Brunei businesses looking to expand overseas as Bruneians already have the skills and experience to do so, said a representative from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

Both places are similar in nature, Anthony Cheng said, noting that Brunei has the expertise needed to exploit demand in sectors such as halal food and oil and gas services in the Australian state.

“I want to change the perception of Northern Territory so that Bruneians can begin to evaluate it as a place of trade opportunities to provide services for the present and future Muslim population and tourists because right now it (services for Muslims) is just negligible,” said Cheng.

“I can see that halal foods and services is something that Brunei can do very well. Brunei can easily cater to the whole Muslim community in the Northern Territory and to the rest of the market (outside the Muslim population) as well,” he said.

According to the 2011 census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were over 470,000 Muslims living in the country, with most of them concentrated in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Cheng said that due to the similarities between Brunei and the Northern Territory economy that is dominated by offshore oil and gas production, Brunei oil and gas service providers can easily use its experience and expertise to cater to the oil and gas sector over there.

“You can transfer that knowledge of the logistics and services gained from experience over to the Northern Territory as it is not so different from Brunei so if you can do (the oil and gas services) here, you can do it there as well,” he said.

Cheng said that although there were opportunities for Bruneian businesses to be had in Australia, it is ultimately up to Bruneians to decide if they would like to take advantage of it.

“The key thing now is that it is dependent on the entrepreneurs here themselves if they would like to look overseas and take advantage of the trade opportunities in Northern Territory,” he said.

“There are transferrable skills that can be implemented there and not just in one state but it can also be a launching point to the rest of Australia which is a big nation of over 24 million people,” he said.

Cheng was in the country in his position as the Northern Territory business development manager to present trade opportunities in the Australian state with a population of over 240,000 people during the Brunei Halal Showcase 2016 held at the Design and Technology building in Kg Anggerek Desa.

The Brunei Times