New report considers Sultanate’s bid to balance exploration with economic diversification
This morning, Prime Minister’s Office and Oxford Business Group launch the Report Brunei Darussalam 2011, the ceremony was officiated by Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali Bin Haji, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Among present were Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, Business Leaders and other stakeholders.
Pengiran Haji Abdul Haris bin Pengiran Haji Shabudin, Permanent Secreatary, Prime Minister’s Office in his welcoming speech address that the Prime Minister’s Office has forged partnership with Oxford Business Group since 2007 for the publication of the Report Brunei Darussalam, which is targeted mainly at potential foreign investors. He also added the Report Brunei Darussalam 2011 is to further enhance Brunei’s profile around the world in continuous effort in providing reliable source of information of the country.
The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 looks in detail at the Sultanate’s major projects which are proving to be instrumental in attracting rising levels of private investment. It also considers the opportunities Brunei now has to explore new and potentially vast reserves of offshore hydrocarbons following the resolution of a territorial dispute with neighbouring Malaysia.
The publication contains an interview with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It provides a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives: Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Perdana Wazir Sahibul Himmah Wal-Waqar Pengiran Muda Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Sato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office; Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (R) Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office; Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office who is also Chairman of Brunei Economic Development Board.
International personalities, such as the Minister of Trade and Industry for Singapore Mr. Lim Hng Kiang and the Chief Minister of Sarawak Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud also offer their views on Brunei’s economic development. In addition, Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson and India’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Gas, Mr. RPN Singh discuss the major role that Brunei could play in contributing to growing regional demand for hydrocarbons.
With oil and gas continuing to dominate Brunei’s economy, OBG’s 2011 report considers the key contribution that continued exploration is making to the energy sector. There is in-depth analysis of the interest that several new offshore deposits are generating among foreign companies, together with details of the Sultanate’s efforts to develop renewable sources.
The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 puts the country’s plans for industrial expansion in the spotlight, as the Sultanate pushes ahead with its long-term development programme, Brunei Vision 2035 (Wawasan Brunei 2035). The publication charts the significant developments witnessed in petrochemicals and the halal segment, while analysing the government’s move to step up agricultural production.
With efforts underway to reduce waiting times for development and construction approvals, the Group’s latest report considers Brunei’s bid to push forward with its new housing projects. It debates the government’s target to meet 51% of total housing demand by 2014 while mapping out the opportunities that new projects will produce across sectors of the economy.
The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 has been produced in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office. Contributions have also been made by Dr Colin Ong Legal Services for law coverage, Deloitte as OBG’s accountancy partner and the regional business magazine Asia Inc.
Regional Editor Paulius Kuncinas said OBG was keen to see how Brunei would address the long-term structural challenge of generating new private sector activity to maximise its human capita potential. “The country continues to post large fiscal and current account surpluses,” he said. “While it is reassuring from the point of view of financial stability, it also reveals that the domestic economy is underinvested with surplus capital exported overseas.”
He also voiced his hope that successful offshore hydrocarbon explorations would not lead to a loss of momentum in the official sector’s efforts to achieve the diversification targets set out in Wawasan Brunei 2035.
OBG’s Editor in Chief, Andrew Jeffreys, said The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 provided wide-ranging coverage of the challenges and opportunities that the global political and economic landscape was producing in the Sultanate which would undoubtedly be of interest to potential investors. He also thanked the Group’s partners in the Sultanate, saying their local knowledge and expertise had helped to strengthen coverage across the sectors of Brunei’s economy.
The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report is available in print or online.