Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 10:16
(Bandar Seri Begawan) The US-ASEAN Business Council concluded its business mission to Brunei Darussalam today, with leading U.S. companies engaging key economic officials on regional, bilateral trade and investment issues. The two-day mission aimed to further develop longstanding commercial ties between the two countries and focused on identifying opportunities to bolster the U.S.-Brunei economic relationship and supporting the Government of Brunei’s efforts to implement key reforms in order to help promote Brunei as a destination for high-value trade and investment.
The delegation was co-led by Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, the Council’s Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director; and the Council's Brunei Committee Chair, Fredrik Nylander, Microsoft’s Head of Services Sales for the Asia Pacific. "The delegation offers Brunei its full support as Brunei continues to improve its diversification efforts with great strides towards regional economic integration, and to maintain momentum in harnessing its potential. The Government of Brunei continues to successfully implement reforms towards ensuring long-term sustainability and the diversification of sources for growth” said Ambassador Michalak. Brunei’s improvement was recently acknowledged in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 in which Brunei was highlighted as the most improved country in the ASEAN region and one of the Top 5 most competitive economies in the ASEAN region.
The Council delegation began its mission with a briefing from U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, the Honorable Craig Allen, and other senior officials of the U.S. Embassy. The delegation also engaged with:
- Minister of Health, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi
- Minister of Communications, Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa Haji Sirat
- Minister of Education, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi Haji Osman
- Deputy Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Dato Paduka Haji Awang Jamain bin Haji Julaihi
- Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awang Haji Mohammad Azmi bin Haji Mohammad Hanifah
- Permanent Secretary (Trade), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dato Lim Jock Hoi
- Deputy Permanent Secretary (Investment), Ministry of Finance, Haji Khairuddin Haji Abdul Hamid
- Executive Director of AMDB, Yang Mulia Awang Mardini bin Haji Eddie
- CEO of BEDB, Mr. Soon Loo
- U.S. Ambassador to Brunei, The Honorable Craig Allen
During the meetings, the delegation also spoke about the importance of further improvements to the investment climate, good regulatory practices, plans to diversify the economy and attract more foreign investment.
Companies participating on the delegation included AstraZeneca, Baker Hughes, General Electric and Microsoft.