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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  24 August 2015  

Brunei, UK can collaborate in improving infrastructure

TRANSPORTATION and development of smart cities are two areas that could be further pursued between the United Kingdom (UK) and Brunei as the Sultanate seeks to improve its infrastructure, the British High Commissioner said.

In a recent interview, David Campbell said that the both are areas for potential collaboration as there are companies from the UK that possess the right expertise in the area.

He said when he visited UK bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited last month, the company was able to hear more about Brunei’s land transport plans, particularly the plan to expand public transport.

“The company was interested to hear that having been active with projects in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia and have developed innovative public transport solutions for those countries,” he told The Brunei Times.

Apart from that, he also said that there were many UK companies that have a presence in Asia due to rising demand for sustainable cities.

“There’s lots of expertise from the UK in the line of data production, energy efficiency, green building and the whole smart city agenda,” he said.

He explained that the High Commission will first need to get a “good understanding” on the projects that make sense when it comes to collaboration.

Only then can we start raising awareness about those opportunities among British companies which will hopefully translate into partnerships, he said.

According to its website, Alexander Dennis is the UK’s leading makers of buses and coaches, employing about 2,000 people in Asia and North America.

Its Asia-Pacific branch is responsible for the sales, support and assembly of double deck buses for Asia and Australiasia.

The company has formed partnerships in China, Malaysia and New Zealand.

During the launch of the Land Transport White Paper in December 2014, the Minister of Communications mentioned seven strategic themes which will provide the foundation for the development of specific national transport policies and the Land Transport Master Plan.

At that time, Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said that the themes cover economic growth, promotion of public transport, reducing dependency on cars and sustainability, among others.

He said Brunei’s ratio for car ownership has an average growth rate of nine per cent per year which could cause severe road congestion problem considering that the country’s roads has only increased by 44 kilometres from 2012 to 2013.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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