The Bruneian government is focused on pushing the agenda of diversification, primarily through its strate- gic location within the region. The country’s business services priority focuses on two main industries: finan- cial services and transportation & logistics.
The country’s existing infrastructure will be able to sup- port this opportunity, which a number of companies had already seized prior to Brunei’s economic diversification drive.
On February 21, 2017, a new joint venture company formed by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and Beibu Gulf (HK) Ltd, Muara Port Services Sdn Bhd, was appointed as the new operator to exclusively manage, maintain and develop the Muara Container Terminal (MCT).
Over the past 20 years, Muara Port has been expanded to cater to the growth in trade import and export with considerable infrastructure development to increase port efficiency and productivity, enhanced through installation of equipment and technology such as an ePort system. A variety of services have been intro- duced, which leads to a greater participation of the private sector.
The latest service offered by the new operators are the unstuffing activities of a Full Container Load (FCL) import container containing cargo for one consignee (importer).
It is intended to improve the operation efficiency of the Muara Container Terminal (MCT) in line with the government’s Ease of Doing Business objectives and give a positive impact on the movement of goods and fast track in connectivity for import, export and tran- sit of goods within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region along the ‘West economic corridor’.
Brunei’s financial services sector holds tremendous potential for growth and investment, particularly with the concept of Islamic banking and sukuk (Islamic bonds) becoming popular funding choices.
The legal financial framework allows a host of interna- tional companies to seamlessly set up offices and offer an array of financial instruments and services, from insurance to investment.
With the legislation and infrastructure for a Brunei stock exchange being finalised, the country is aiming to create a better developed and more diversified capital market environment and catch up with more mature markets in the region.
When it was first announced in 2015, a statement from Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam read: “At a regional level, it will allow us to take part in the Asean exchanges and move towards Asean integration.”
The modernisation of the Brunei International Airport has the advantage of less traffic and easy landing rights, meaning there are opportunities for Brunei to develop into a logistics hub for the region.
As Brunei’s main gateway for international trade, Muara Port is strategically located to serve the developing economies of the region, with more than 90 per cent of the country’s imports and exports (except oil and gas) channeled through the port.
Darussalam Assets will, in the long run, aim to continue its collaboration with Guangxi Beibu Gulf as it strives to transform Muara Port into a regional shipping centre and a transit hub in the Southeast Asia region.
The successful execution of these plans will not only strengthen the economic and trade exchanges, and promote investment cooperation and eco- nomic interaction between Brunei and regional countries, but will also contribute to the nation’s sustainable development and diversification of economic growth in sectors outside of the oil and gas industries.
Amann Shipping Group Sdn Bhd plays the role of connecting Brunei with international shipping to provide feeder services.
Amann Shipping is the first and the only national shipping line in Brunei under the sponsorship of Strategic Development Capital and partnership of GO-Wide Shipping. Amann Shipping will speed up delivery and lower costs for Bruneian SME import- ers and exporters thereby making Brunei goods more competitive to a broader customer base to help diversify the economy, which is a key objective of Vision 2035.
With Strategic Development Capital (SDC), Amann Shipping has made significant investment in MV Padian 1 and Padian 2 to reenergise container oper- ations and prospects.
Exciting opportunities will grow and expand into the new markets, in particular, BIMP-EAGA, China, Thailand and Vietnam.
A prime objective of Amann Shipping is to serve Brunei by maximising local employment opportu- nities for young professionals in the maritime and shipping industry.
Bolloré Logistics first began its operations as SDV Logistics when it was established in 2001. In early 2016, SDV Logistics – which is part of the Bolloré Group – was rebranded and renamed Bolloré Logistics.
The Bolloré Group is a top 10 International Freight Forwarder, offering a wide range of transporta- tion services including international air and ocean freight, trucking, supply base logistics, e-commerce and warehousing.
Globally, Bolloré Logistics employs over 26,000 individuals in over 100 countries at 600 locations. In Brunei, the company operates from two locations and employ 35 individuals, of which 25 are local residents.
Bolloré Logistics view foreign direct investment (FDI) as a key element in developing their service in Brunei. With an economy still predominantly dependent on the oil and gas industry, the compa- ny’s business is mostly centred on the provision of services from energy companies.
The company currently serves key energy industry corporations such as Total, Petronas and Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) and other companies such as Schneider, The Body Shop and Siemens.
Through FDIs, Bolloré Logistics believes Brunei can increase large scale production of goods – which in turn will attract foreign business and consumers – as well as improve infrastructure through port and ware- house upgrades.
As part of their efforts to help Brunei in its push for Brunei Vision 2035, Bolloré cooperates with DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) to train local small and medi- um-sized enterprises (SMEs) who import and export goods on the process of international freight.
Copyright 2017 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2017 All rights reserved.