Philippines eyes four key investment sectors for Brunei business leaders

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in a group photo with Philippines’ Cabinet members and speakers. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Philippines is looking at four key sectors in investment opportunities for Brunei’s business leaders in agribusiness and food processing, renewable energy, Islamic finance and halal industry, Philippines Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Alfredo E Pascual said.

He said this in his presentation on investment opportunities in the Philippines at the Philippine Business Forum at Royal Berkshire Hall, Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club, Jerudong on Wednesday (May 29).

Pascual also shared that the economic relationship between Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines remains strong and continues to grow. He said in 2023, Brunei was the Philippines’ 38th trading partner and 43rd source of foreign direct investment. Brunei investment in the Philippines reached USD128,699 in 2023, he said.

The Philippines and Brunei Darussalam’s bilateral trade has rebounded from the pandemic by recording US$316 million in total trade last year marking a 28 per cent annual growth rate over the past five years, Pascual said.

He vowed that the Philippines is committed to strengthening economic ties within ASEAN, mainly through Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as a catalyst for deeper business collaboration and enhanced market access.

Meanwhile, Chief Business Officer, Head, Jollibee Global, Jollibee Foods Corporation Joseph C Tanbuntiong shared the success story of Jollibee in Brunei in his brief remarks during the business executive session.

He said, “We opened our first store in Brunei in 1987. The initial projection was to grow to five stores. Thanks to our customers in Brunei and the dedication from our teams and partners, we now have 20 Jollibee stores in the country.” He also shared that Jollibee has employed over 400 Bruneians with some staying as long as 30 years.

Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean BAC) Brunei/Brunei Economic Programme Member and Managing Director of Adinin Group of Companies Musa Adnin said, “In conjunction with the forum and the Philippines’ President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr’s state visit, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on joint venture and initiatives in agriculture and MSMEs development has been signed.

“The agreement signifies major steps in our collaboration efforts to boost economic growth and development in both countries.” The Asean BAC, he highlighted “plays a crucial role in facilitating seamless interaction and fostering a business friendly environment.

“Our goal is to support initiatives that drive economy development, innovation and sustainable growth for both nations”.

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) Daniel Leong iterated that BEDB sees immerse opportunities of collaboration by capitalising on BIMP-EAGA key sector areas.

“Our food industry roadmap highlights significant prospects for investment, particularly in the halal market with opportunities in aqua culture and agriculture, poultry and food processing.” He added,

“Brunei’s unique land of culture and beauty offer great potential for joint ventures in tourism projects. The logistic and maritime sectors provide significant opportunities for investment and collaboration. Our upcoming port expansion and transshipment is part of our broader strategy to increase regional integration and economic collaboration.”

Apec Business Advisory Council Chair for Brunei and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Brunei Pengiran Aki Ismasufian Pengiran Ibrahim said, “Collaboration lies in the heart of our efforts to enhance trade flow between Brunei and the Philippines.

The private sector, especially organisations like Asean and Apec Business Advisory Council, plays pivotal roles in facilitating collaborations by working together, each councils can leverage their networks’ expertise and influence to identify synergies, overcome obstacles and promote business strategies policies that benefit both countries.”

The DTI in partnership with the Agriculture Department and the Brunei Economy Programme forum organised the event with support from the Philippines Embassy in Brunei Darussalam. – Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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Brunei , Philippines , investment , business , Marcos


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