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Government to ensure GLCs meet global standards

Sunday, 13 March - THE government will ensure state-owned enterprises and joint venture companies continue to perform and have the ability to compete on an international level, the second finance minister said yesterday.

 

 During the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim said such companies are aligned to global standards in terms of administration or corporate governance.

 “One measure of success to determine whether a company is at an international standing is its capability to perform overseas and in terms of exports. At this moment, a few companies have been able to do this,” he said.

He said this in response to YB Pehin Orang Kaya Maharaja Kerna Dato Paduka Seri Hj Yaakub Pehin Orang Kaya Maharaja Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Zainal’s question on the development and financial contribution of government-linked companies.

The minister listed companies such as Simpor Pharma that the government has a 29.4 per cent share.

The company, which also runs Brunei’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, exports 84.5 per cent of its products into international markets such as Canada and Hong Kong. It is seeking to penetrate other markets in China and in the Middle East.

The minister said the company has also marketed its products in local retail stores such as Hua Ho, Jaya Hypermart and Guardian Pharmacy.

At the moment, the company is working to get its halal certification from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, he said.

In the halal sector, the minister said Ghanim International has sold products under the Brunei Halal brand in international retailers such as Tesco in the UK and Singapore.

The minister also highlighted the importance of investments made for technology and skills transfer such as in the case of CAE MPTC Brunei, a joint venture between the government and Canadian firm CAE Inc – one of the largest companies in the world for integrated solutions in aviation and defence.

Apart from getting business locally, CAE MPTC has secured contracts with customers from China and Australia, the minister said.

In response to LegCo member YB Hj Tahamit Hj Nudin’s question on contributions made by national carrier Royal Brunei (RB) Airlines, the minister said the airline has achieved milestones such as rebranding and the acquisition of new aircraft.

He declined to reveal financial information about all the mentioned companies to protect “sensitive” information regarding commercial operations.

The minister also did not disclose financial information on Semaun Holdings Sdn Bhd, a fully government owned company, in which YB Pehin Dato Hj Yaakub said is involved in food processing and glass crystal manufacturing.

According to the minister, there are 75 government-linked companies (GLCs) under Darussalam Assets and the Strategic Development Capital Fund.

44 of these companies are fully government owned and 31 companies are joint ventures.

The minister said there are also few companies that are GLCs not under SDC and Darussalam Assets, both of which are channels used by the government for investing in GLCs and joint ventures.

(Courtesy: The Brunei Times, March 13 2016)

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