ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
French businesses encouraged to invest in non-oil and gas sector
FRANCE can expand its cooperation with Brunei in areas outside of the oil and gas sector given that some French brands have already established a presence in the Sultanate.
According to Pierre Imhof, outgoing president of the French Brunei Business Association (FBBA), FBBA members believe there are more opportunities for Brunei and France to cooperate.
“In Brunei the oil and gas is a major component of the overall economic activities. But we see other areas where I think French companies may be interested to cooperate in,” Imhof told The Brunei Times.
In an interview held at the sidelines of the FBBA’s annual general meeting, Imhof said French car makers such as Renault, Citroen and Peugeot already have a presence in the Sultanate.
These car brands, he said, may not be big players yet in the local market. But he’s optimistic that these brands can boost its market share as French car makers “are very advanced in new technology for electric cars”.
He added many French companies have expertise in aeronautics, logistics, security and waste management. These companies can invest in Brunei
Imhof also cited the long presence of Total E&P Borneo BV (TEPB), subsidiary of the Paris-based oil and gas company Total SA.
He said TEPB’s nearly 30-year presence in the Sultanate will encourage French companies to invest in Brunei.
Imhof said the FBBA will continue to explore opportunities in the Sultanate’s non oil and gas industry.
“Being a dynamic bilateral association, we are definitely trying to promote events and functions which are associated as much as possible with Brunei and French participants or interested parties,” he said.
In a separate interview, FBBA Vice President Yves Grosjean said the association will continue to facilitate business opportunities for French companies which are looking to invest in the Sultanate’s oil and gas sector.
“On oil and gas for example, we facilitate business trips by potential French investors or would be joint venture partners who are interested in setting up joint ventures with Brunei entities and partners here to provide some services or products to the oil and gas sector in Brunei,” he said.
Established in 2000, the association aims to bring together people who are actively involved in trade and commerce between Brunei and France. One of FBBA’s tasks is to disseminate information on business and economy to its members.
The FBBA members consist of small and medium enterprises, large corporations and professionals. It elected its new committee members the day before yesterday.
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