Investors can leverage on Brunei Darussalam’s strategic location to reach a wider market base within Asean and beyond. Approximately 600 million people live in the region, creating a market larger than the whole of the European Union. The region also represents a pathway towards creating an economic community that facilitates the movement of trade and people across the region.
There is also no sales, payroll, capital gains, manufacturing or personal income tax in Brunei. Corporate income tax in the country is one of the lowest in the region at 18.5 per cent.
The Investment Incentive Order 2001 provides companies with the facility to apply for pioneer status where it can be exempted from corporate income tax for periods ranging from five, eight or 11 years depending on the nature of industry and amount of fixed capital, with possible further extension of the tax exemption period. Companies which have been granted pioneer status may additionally enjoy exemption on import duties for raw materials and machinery.
The type of Tax Relief offered in the investment incentives include: corporate tax relief of up to five years for companies that invest B$500,000 to B$2.5 million in approved ventures; eight years tax relief for investing more than B$2.5 million; 11-year tax break if the venture is located in a high-tech industrial park.
Brunei is also a party to Double Taxation Treaties with countries such as Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Brunei also allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of a company or business, except for activities that directly utilise the country’s natural resources such as oil and gas, and fisheries.
The country offers cost-effective and reliable utility services in the region with heavily subsidised electricity, water and diesel. Electricity rates are approximately US$0.08 – US$0.10 per kWh, while subsidised diesel is at a rate of US$0.25 per litre. Potable water costs approximately US$0.53 per m3.
There are a number of industrial sites within the country earmarked for specific clusters and export-oriented activities: Bukit Panggal Industrial Park (Energy Intensive Industries, 50 hectares); Sg Liang Industrial Park (Petrochemicals Industries, 271 hectares); Telisai Industrial Park (Mixed Industries, 2,808 hectares); Lumapas Industrial Park (Agricultural Related Industries, 25 hectares); Digital Junction (ICT and Hi-Tech Industries, 15 hectares); Pulau Muara Besar Industrial Park (Oil and Gas Related Industries, 955 hectares); Salambigar Industrial Park (Light Manufacturing Industries, 121 hectares); and Anggerek Desa Technology Park (ICT, Innovative and Creative Industries – 17 hectares).
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