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21st Century Maritime Silk Road matches very well with Brunei

Updated: 2015-05-23 14:33:36

( xinhua )

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The needs to diversify Brunei's economy and to multiply the range of products for export have become extremely urgent today. Brunei is an integral part for the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which matches very well with Brunei's economic diversification strategy and " Version 2035" blueprint of development.

Chinese Ambassador Yang Jiang had told local media that China and Brunei enjoy good relations. The two sides should seize the opportunity and give impetus to the Hengyi Comprehensive Refinery Project, Huludao Steel Pipe Factory Project and other infrastructure projects like highway and bridge.

She said the two sides should steadily translate the "Guangxi- Brunei Economic Corridor" into reality. Cooperation in agriculture, halal food processing, biological medicine, shipping, tourism and other fields, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges should be further enhanced.

"China will encourage more enterprises of competitiveness and excellence to invest in Brunei, and take part in the infrastructure construction of the region," said the ambassador.

Yang stressed that "China will also support the development of the 'East ASEAN Growth Area' with Brunei as its hub."

"I am confident that the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road will bring more opportunities for further cooperation between China and Brunei. It will be helpful to Brunei's economic diversification, and will promote mutual benefits and common development of our two countries," said ambassador Yang.

With Southeast Asia being one of the focal points of the Belt and Road initiative, she said, ASEAN countries are prioritized on the Maritime Silk Road and will be the beneficiary of early harvest. Thanks to the hard work of both sides over the years, the China-ASEAN exchanges and cooperation are going deeper and further, laying a very good foundation. The initiative will provide new areas of combination for the development strategies of China and ASEAN countries, presenting a broader prospect for future cooperation.

Meanwhile, Brunei's minister of Industry and Primary Resources YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya said in a recent International Investment Conference that Brunei's economy today is still heavily dependent on oil and gas. "The oil and gas sector currently makes up close to 67 percent of our Gross Domestic product (GDP); represents close to 90 percent of the government's revenues; contribute a staggering 96 percent of our exports; but employs less than 5 percent of our workforce."

The Brunei government now is making efforts to diversify its economy by introducing new core industries and by attracting more foreign investments. In accordance with the "Vision 2035," Brunei has created an environment characterized by a stable political and economic climate. Leveraging on the already well-established advantages, Brunei seeks to promote an innovative business environment and encourage investments in the country in order to create a dynamic and sustainable economy for future generations to come.

Earlier, minister Yahya said Brunei intends to build stronger links with Guangxi through cooperation in many fields including agriculture and food production. He said Brunei intends to make Guangxi Qinzhou Port as its main entry point to China, which is hoped to facilitate agriculture and fisheries cooperation that can be further explored. "We are giving special attention to Guangxi so we hope both sides can reap benefits from it and improve Brunei- China relations as a whole." Brunei also hopes to strengthen shipping service cooperation between Muara Port and Qinzhou Port.

Brunei and Guangxi currently have strong cooperation in rice production; a company from Guangxi offers technical assistance and expertise for a pilot paddy production scheme in Brunei which started as a research field back in 2009 and transformed into a farmland today.

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