Balanced Expenditure to Support Sustainable Economic Growth

In line with the economic diversification policy and to boost the role and contributions of the non-oil and gas private sector in generating the country's economic activity, the government has amended the laws and regulations as well as updating the processes and procedures with the objective to facilitate business in the country.

To facilitate business is among the 5 main foci for the financial year 2017-2018 themed 'Belanjawan Seimbang bagi Mendukung Pertumbuhan Ekonomi yang Mampan' or Balanced Expenditure to Support Sustainable Economic Growth. Continuous efforts by government agencies have raised the country's ranking to 72 out of 190 economies worldwide. Through such efforts, the country was acknowledged as the 10 most improved economy in ease of doing business. Among the initiative are,

- Introducing new process for Foreign Workers Licence application to ease companies in related application

- 36 percent logistic cost reduction for import and export-laden container can help further reduce business cost for stakeholder

- Ease the management of court filing process by online

- Establishing commercial court which is an important part of the country's development for basic business law, finance and industry.

- The adoption of Brunei Darussalam Accounting Standards (BDAS)

- Establishing 'Board of Review' to review tax objection cases from companies

- Introduction of Tourism Order 2016

To encourage more investment and business activities, the withholding tax on non-resident companies' income was reduced starting on the 1st of this month involving loan interest payment and management fees. Several programmes have been implemented to support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME's and its cooperative. Among them is the establishment of Darussalam Enterprise, DARe.

The construction of two new markets, namely the Tamu Baharu Sungai Kianggeh and Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong can facilitate business for local vendors in a more conducive and comfortable environment.

The government also allocated suitable budgets on several fields such as the MSME development, providing basic infrastructure at the Prawn Farming Industrial Site in Sungai Penyatang, Tutong, Trade Development under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as improving the Competent Authority capacity in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, HACCP.

Several foreign direct investment, FDI joint venture projects have been actively implemented. Among them are the Muara Port Development Project, the production of tubular steel, the Offshore Fish Farming Project, the Processing Project as well as the MC Biotech Industrial Park and the Sinar Suria Bio Center. The establishment of multi-national companies in the country not only provide job opportunities to the locals in the country, it also provide business opportunities to MSME entrepreneurs to raise the country's export value in the non oil and gas sector.

The Free Trade Zone, FTZ, was created to uphold and increase production and export activities. Through the FTZ, all the goods unloaded and manufactured are only required to go though minimal customs process. Efforts are also being carried out for the establishment of stocks that can provide alternative financing opportunities to local entrepreneurs and investors.

The establishment of Darussalam Assets enables the government to implement efforts in enhancing and strengthening the performance of government linked companies. To ensure that the operational projects comply with the international best practices, the Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA) was established.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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