The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) acts a frontline agency to facilitate foreign invest- ment into the country. It was established in 2003, with the main objective and role of growing and diversifying Brunei’s economy towards achieving the goals of Brunei Vision 2035 by focusing on strategic initiatives that contribute towards economic devel- opment through the increase of export-oriented industries and spin-off opportunities for local busi- nesses, thus generating employment opportunities for locals.
Focused on four key areas – attracting investments; strengthening local businesses; boosting research, development and innovation; and delivering key infrastructure projects – the BEDB conducts high-quality research on national economic develop- ment initiatives which generate benefits to Brunei, while analysing the findings and making strategic recommendations to potential investors.
BEDB also acts as a frontline agency to facilitate for- eign investment into the country by working closely with investors to understand their business needs. It also provides information on the local investment climate, developmental requirements, laws and reg- ulations, cost of doing business and project specific information.
The sectors of Halal, Technology and Creative Industry, Business Services, Tourism, and Downstream Oil and Gas are some of the fields that BEDB hopes to capitalise on through the nation’s strong point as an Islamic nation with abundant natural resources and a highly-educated, skilled populace.
With BEDB, Brunei has put in place a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) fast-track system to ensure that investors obtain the government permits, licenses and approvals, along with the recruitment of foreign labour.
BEDB works side-by-side with investors to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their business aspirations and needs, and cooperates with Invest in Brunei FDI Action and Support (FAST) Centre under the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO) to evaluate investment proposals, liaisons with government agencies and obtain project approvals. In addition, a Dedicated Account Manager is assigned to each investor, as a single focal point and liaison officer.
FDI is one of the main strategies for the economic diversification process of Brunei. In recent years, favourable tax incentives and customs duties exemption for certain sectors – particularly those in non-oil investments – along with competitively priced utilities, strong financial supports and robust comprehensive Intellectual Property Protection have successfully attracted huge investments into the country.
In 2016, the establishment of an FDI and Downstream Industry Committee was announced. This committee is tasked with implementing reforms to increase competitiveness in attracting foreign investors to Brunei.
Copyright 2017 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2017 All rights reserved.