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EASE OF DOING BUSINESS IMPROVES:WORLD BANK

From the overall budget, the second priority is on the private sector through a number of initiatives that have been carried out to date.

Brunei Darussalam has improved its ranking in the "Ease of Doing Business" Index published by the World Bank for the year 2012, jumping three positions to 83rd place. Although the ranking has increased, there is still room for improvement with the aspiration of achieving even better ranking.

This was highlighted yesterday by YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim, the Minister of Finance II at the Prime Ministr's Office in the presentation of the bill seeking to supply a sum of consolidate fund for the service of the financial year 2012/2013.

"To focus on improving the ranking, a number of initiatives have been or will be implemented. This includes the establishment of Ease of Doing Business Unit and Business Facilitation Centre Unit in the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, as well as the Establishment of Authority for Building and Construction Industry (ABCI) at the Ministry of Development," he said.

Other initiatives are maximising economic spin-off from the oil and gas sector, developing the tourism sector that includes Nature, Culture and Heritage Tourism, manufacturing and processing food and beverages sector, developing Brunei's Halal brand and increasing economic activities in the mukim and village levels, and others.

In support of the initiatives, "a number of allocations have been made including $1 million for managing the operation of Ease of Doing Business Unit and Business Facilitation Centre Unit, $3 million for the maintaining and upgrading of industrial infrastructures as a continuation to the $5 million prepared for the financial year of 2011/2012.

"$500,000 has been allocated for repair of buildings and area of commercial complex and Anggerek Desa light industrial complex.

In additions A number of allocations will be for the repair and upgrading of the public facilities in all four districts nation wide. In the financial year 2011/2012, a total of $5 million has been prepared to develop suitable industrial sites to facilitate the development of local companies as support services to the oil and gas industry in the country," he said.

In addition, a number of initiatives have also been taken to raise the standard of infrastructure in the country. "This includes the upgrading of the Brunei International Airport, which came with the cost of around $130 million expected to be completed by 2014; the increase of facilities in port and the increase of capacity in communications and telecommunications."

- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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