Brunei Darussalam has entered a new phase of growth and development in its renewed efforts to diversify its economy. The focus is on industries that capitalise on the country’s strengths and has the ability to grow the economy, provide quality and sustainable job opportunities. These include the Islamic banking and finance, Brunei Halal brand, and specialised or niche tourism based on Islamic religion, local culture, heritage, as well as pristine rainforest.

Efforts are currently undertaken to develop the non-oil and gas industries. The Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGEC), for example, demonstrates the strategic initiative to stimulate the economic development of Brunei Darussalam through the combination of resources, strengths and capabilities with Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. Through this economic cooperative strategy, it will create investment opportunities in many business sectors. In the long-run, the BGEC will bring mutual benefit in terms of accelerating industrialisation, economic diversification, sustainable growth, international export and job creation for the two economies.

The other underlying foundation is the development of Bio-Innovation Corridor (BIC) with the vision to develop an internationally renowned Halal-themed and biotechnology-based industry park. BIC has excellent access to high quality infrastructure and aims to accommodate research and innovative technology applications that will supportthe development of Brunei Halal brand as well as manufacturing activities of food products, health supplements, biomedicine products and cosmetics.

Both BGEC and BIC offer golden opportunities for our small and medium enterprises (SMEs). They can be part of the whole value chain either as suppliers of raw materials, providers of logistical and support services, sub-contractors and other related businesses.

We all know the limitation of a small domestic market such as in Brunei Darussalam. Thus, Brunei Darussalam’s participation in many free and preferential trade arrangements would greatly expand our market size.

I wish to congratulate the management and staff of Brunei Press Sdn Bhd for the publication of Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2015. I hope readers, foreign and local, will find the yearbook useful and informative.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia
Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar


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