Government working on reducing cost of doing business
THE government remains committed in reducing the cost of doing business in Brunei through increasing economic activities generated by foreign investors in the country, said the minister of energy and industry.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar said the simple formula to decreasing cost of doing business comes from an increase in export-oriented trading.
“As a result from our participation in this year’s edition (of the 13th China-ASEAN Expo), there will now be five Chinese foreign direct investors who are coming in to our country.
“These five companies, in addition to the ones we already have, will generate a large amount of business for our local small and medium enterprises,” he said.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Invest in Brunei Darussalam’ promotional conference as part of the ongoing 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2016 in Nanning.
Referring to the signing of the term sheets for the establishment of the joint venture between Darussalam Assets and Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group to provide logistics services at Muara Port, he said this would improve the port’s capability to increase trade and subsequently lower business costs.
“One important improvement is that now with the impending connections and networks to be provided to our ports by a well-known international port operator, the trade activity in Brunei will be significantly increased.
“When usage of our port is increased due to the escalation of import and export in the country, this will be because of the increase in trade activities that foreign investors bring to our country and in turn, will lower the cost of producing and exporting our goods from just the increase in volume alone,” he added.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said for cost of doing business to go down, the country must remain focused on exporting local products and reduce reliance on consuming imports.
“What we do not have enough of now are the export-oriented activities but for the first time, we will very soon have more opportunities to export when all the joint ventures of the foreign investors who are coming in are up and running.
“The spin-off effect of having all these foreign investors coming to Brunei is making doing business in Brunei cheaper and this will also have the desired outcome of making our Bruneian products more competitive among our trading partners,” he added.
The minister said while no special financial or tax incentives will be given specifically to lower the cost of trade, Brunei already has the advantage of attractive taxation laws for businesses including no personal income tax and a low corporate tax rate of 18.6 per cent.
“The most important thing is that we have to be efficient when it comes to doing business because if we are efficient and have no corruption, it will be very easy to attract even more investors to Brunei,” he said.
“For example, we even have certain tax rebates when a company sends local Bruneians for (job) training through the relevant agencies. There are already quite a number of incentives that we have which serves to attract foreign direct investments into the country,” he added.
The Brunei Times