ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Trade agreements open up Chinese market to Brunei biz
BRUNEI and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China signed five trade agreements yesterday to boost bilateral trade and help the sultanate tap the huge Chinese market.
During the simultaneous signing ceremony held at Nanning Marriott Hotel, a representative from the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and three Brunei government-link companies signed trade agreements with five Guangxi-based companies.
Harris Ibrahim, head of BEDB Foreign Direct Investment Promotion, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with electric vehicles manufacturer Shenglong Energy Automobile Co Ltd and aquaculture firm Guangxi Hiseaton Foods Co Ltd.
According to a press statement issued by Darussalam Enterprise (DARE), Harris and Shenglong New Energy Automobile President Zhong Wang signed an MoU to develop a manufacturing and assembly plant for electric and renewable energy-powered vehicles which include mopeds, cars, buses and engines in Brunei.
Guangxi Hiseaton Foods Chairman Liu Xi Lei was present to sign the MoU for the offshore sea caged farming and processing project in Brunei.
DARE said a group of Chinese scientists and experts in aquaculture will be invited to Brunei later this month to establish the Brunei China Aquaculture Research Centre.
BEDB also signed a non-binding MoU with multi services company Guangxi Zhongli Enterprise Group.
Yongson Chan, chief operating officer of Guangxi Zhongli Enterprise, said the company will invest US$100 million in Brunei to produce processed oyster products such as dried oysters, sauces and snack food.
He said the company wants to leverage on the Brunei halal brand and certification.
“The South China Sea around Brunei is a very good environment for oyster development. If we consider doing the halal market from China, maybe developing halal market from here isn’t good enough. But if Brunei sells the oyster products to the world halal market, it has great potential,” said Chan.
BEDB’s Harris also represented Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd to sign a term sheet for the proposed establishment of joint venture company with Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group Co Ltd to operate and develop the Muara Port.
Guangxi Beibu‘s Chairman Zhou Xiaoxi was present to sign the agreement.
In a statement, Guangxi Beibu said it will develop Muara Port into a world-class international port. It is also keen to develop the Free Trade Zone and Industrial Park in Brunei to cater for various industrial activities and help grow the sultanate’s ports sector.
Harris signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the processing and trading of Brunei Halal certified spices with spice trader Guangxi Ruian Logistics (Group) Co Ltd’s Chairman Chen Min.
Harris signed the LoI in behalf of the Strategic Development Capital Fund, one of Brunei’s private equity funds.
According to DARE, Ruian Logistics is keen to establish a trading centre in Brunei to leverage on Brunei's halal certification process to penetrate the Muslim market. The company also plans to expand its processing operations and look into higher value products that can be used in the health supplements and pharmaceutical industries.
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