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Proposed free trade zone to make Brunei competitive destination for investors: minister

By:Xinhua    Update:2017-03-09
The Brunei government's move to introduce a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is hoped to make Brunei a competitive destination for investors through the expansion of manufacturing activities and exports as well as re-exports, said Abdul Rahman, Brunei's Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance.
Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah outlined the new initiative to facilitate open trade and attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the country, especially in manufacturing, in a speech to mark the opening of the 13th Legislative Council session days ago.
According to a local report on Wednesday, Abdul Rahman said in his 2017-2018 budget speech at the Legislative Council session that the FTZ will reduce the procedures required for unloading, manufacturing and exportation.
The minister also said that a 96-hectare location at Kampong Terunjing in the Brunei-Muara District is being considered for the FTZ, and that it will be expanded according to requirements.
He also mentioned several initiatives that were recently introduced to facilitate the growth of businesses in Brunei, including the introduction of the Foreign Worker Licence application which streamlines the Labor Department's task in controlling and monitoring foreign workers; reducing logistic costs on import and export containers as well as the establishment of a Commercial Court that plays an important role in the development of the legal basis in trade, finance and industries in Brunei.
The minister also said that the country is currently active in implementing FDI projects worth 5 billion U.S. dollars, and is considering a number of suggested projects that total up to 11 billion U.S. dollars in various sectors including oil and gas downstream, business services and Halal products.

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