Interview: Kevin Speed
Does Brunei Darussalam have the potential to take a leading regional role in defence and aviation?
KEVIN SPEED: Brunei Darussalam is demonstrating leadership in aviation by being the first in ASEAN to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, with Sikorsky and AgustaWestland offshore helicopters already in service. The government has invested in the world’s best aircraft for civil aviation, defence and humanitarian support services.
Through the Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre (MPTC), the government is also investing in an aviation training programme with an emphasis on flight safety and mission preparedness. The advanced capabilities available at the Brunei MPTC are regional assets that are already attracting aviation operators from several nations. Simulation-based training is safe and very costeffective, which makes it ideal for any organisation needing to analyse, prepare and train, and with the Brunei MPTC in place Brunei Darussalam has become a leader in several niche market segments and achieved international recognition for its capabilities.
Why is Brunei Darussalam attractive to foreign investors, and what incentives and regulations would draw further foreign direct investment (FDI)?
SPEED: Economic strength, geographic location, stability, a focus on safety, low tax rates and a strong relationship with its ASEAN neighbours all contributed to CAE’s decision to invest in Brunei Darussalam. We are always looking for opportunities to expand our global presence and are proud that the Brunei MPTC is one of Brunei Darussalam’s most significant foreign direct investments outside the energy sector.
The Ministry of Finance, as our joint venture partner, and the Brunei Economic Development Board, as our infrastructure provider and mentor, have been extremely supportive in beginning a mutually beneficial long-term relationship that is attractive for all stakeholders. Looking ahead, pioneer status programmes to lower taxes for high-tech industries, enhanced infrastructure such as the airport terminal, consistent high-speed internet connectivity and increased airline connectivity are all important initiatives that should continue to attract FDI and foreign customers.
What role will the Brunei MPTC play in deepening the Sultanate’s defence and aviation sectors?
SPEED: Fundamental to the success of the defence and civil aviation segments are safety, mission readiness and efficiency. The CAE Brunei MPTC applies simulation expertise and operational experience to help users enhance safety, improve efficiency, maintain readiness and solve problems. In addition to aviation, we can use our simulation capabilities in markets such as disaster management and health care. The Brunei MPTC is providing training services for the Brunei Shell S-92 helicopter and the P-C7 fixed-wing training aircraft.
Beginning in late 2015 the MPTC will also provide training services for the Royal Brunei Air Force S-70i Black Hawk, an advanced helicopter that can perform demanding missions over land and sea to serve, protect and transport the people of Brunei Darussalam and its ASEAN neighbours in times of humanitarian need.
How can Brunei Darussalam build on its local human capital capacity in high-tech industries, and what role do international companies have to play in this?
SPEED: The Sultanate is investing in human capital development by training local personnel in high-tech knowledge-based industries such as defence, aviation disaster management and health care through initiatives such as the Brunei MPTC. Having these career-enhancing capabilities will build the nation’s expertise and human capital capacity by making advanced training available to an increased number of local personnel. In addition to attracting international students to Brunei Darussalam, the qualification and certification of the Brunei MPTC by the European Aviation Safety Authorities is a demonstration of the credibility that international firms such as CAE can bring to the nation.
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