Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) conducted working visits to the Serasa Industrial Site, Pulau Muara Besar, JobCentre Brunei and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) on Wednesday, 9 th January 2019. The LegCo Members’ delegation was headed by Yang Berhormat Pg Haji Ali bin Pg Maon, Penghulu Mukim Berakas Zon 1, Brunei-Muara.

Present at the visits was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry. Also in attendance were Yang Mulia Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary (Energy); Yang Mulia Haji Zolkiflee bin Haji Abdul Karim, Permanent Secretary (Manpower); Yang Mulia Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Acting Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Industry) and Yang Mulia Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power); Javed Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer of DARe; and officers and staff from the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry; the Department of Electrical Services; DARe; SHENA and Damai Holdings Limited.

The visits are part of the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry’s (MEMI’s) annual efforts to improve information sharing about the various initiatives under the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry with the Legislative Council Members to enhance cooperation towards national development. These would be followed by a dialogue session on Thursday, 10th January 2019 to discuss the Ministry’s visions and plans.

At the Serasa Industrial Site, the LegCo members visited Western Foods and Packaging Sdn Bhd (WFP), which Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry introduced as an example of a foreign direct investment (FDI) company in the food manufacturing sector currently in operation under one Brunei Darussalam’s industrial sites. WFP is a result of investment from the company, Marsa Yag Snayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi, from the Republic of Turkey. Its 1.9ha facilities processes palm oil for the production of margarine and shortening, which are exported to various countries in the Asian market and the Middle East. Currently, the plant projects an annual sales value of USD 35 million, with a production capacity of 200 tonnes of margarine per day. The products are used in various other downstreaming activities, including chocolate and pastry factories overseas. WFP’s workforce currently consists of 92% locals, with 57 out of their 63 personnel being Bruneians. This site highlights the potential and opportunities that successful FDI inflows would have in terms of technology transfer, training and local employment opportunities.

The petrochemical refinery complex under Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd. on Pulau Muara Besar (an industrial site managed by DARe) is also another example of a collaborative project with an FDI, where the shareholders are Damai Holdings Limited, Brunei Darussalam (30% shares) and Zhejiang Hengyi Petrochemical Co Ltd. (70% shares). Commissioning of the petrochemical refinery is currently planned for 2019, and would represent the largest downstream oil and gas project in Brunei Darussalam to date. During operation, the plant will produce various petrochemical products, including jet fuel, diesel, gasoline, LPG and chemicals with an expected capacity of 175,000 barrels per day. These products may be used further for plastics and textile manufacturing.

In his remarks, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry indicated the plant is expected to generate about 1,600 direct job opportunities with plans for Bruneians to fill at least 50% of these positions. The company has also committed at least a 5% annual increase in employment of locals at all levels. There are also further opportunities for indirect employment and economic spin off arising from the provision of goods and services to support project operations. The progress and implementation of the project is closely monitored through a Whole-of-Government approach and regulated by various Government agencies, including the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry; the Ministry of Development; the Maritime Port Authority, Brunei Darussalam; the Immigration and National Registration Department; the Royal Customs and Excise Department; security forces; and the Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA). The project would be subject to all the necessary approvals and standard requirements set by the relevant Government agencies.

There are currently 26 industrial sites and complexes across the 4 districts managed by DARe. Maximising value-added and export-oriented activities in these sites were highlighted as key contributors to future economic and industrial growth. During the subsequent visit to JCB, it was shared that the Centre serves as a one-stop career centre in helping to improve the employability and marketability in the local job market. These include its online job portal, job matching services, career support, walk-in interview sessions, training and courses. Jobseekers are continuously being encouraged to make full use of JCB’s services and participate in their programmes. JCB supports all sectors by bridging labour demand with supply. This is in line with the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry’s aspiration to facilitate the provision of an industry-ready workforce. The visit to DARe later introduced to DARe’s initiatives to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including the iCentre, an incubation centre for start-ups, and the Business Support Centre (BSC), which is aimed at facilitating easier navigation of Government processes and approvals for MSMEs by housing 12 Government agencies under one roof. The BSC is located at the Design & Technology Building, Simpang 32-37, Anggerek Desa Technology Park.

Source: Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry. Brunei Darussalam