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Reforms to improve Brunei’s business climate

THE Brunei Government continues to make significant reforms to the local business environment in order to boost the country’s economic production and growth, said Zulfadli bin Abu Bakar, a Special Duties Officer from the Ease of Doing Business Unit under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Zulfadli was giving a briefing to a group of government officers, village heads, students and business entrepreneurs yesterday during the opening of an ‘Ease of Doing Business’ roadshow at the Ministry of Finance, which will run until June 4.

Elaborating on the latest reforms, he said that online registration enables new businesses to be set up in less than a day.

At the same time, he said, online application through the OneBiz system allows permits for construction to be obtained within 40 days, while the implementation of the new Building Control Order allows significant renovation work to be carried out without prior approval.

Zulfadli also mentioned the e-Amanah system, which allows employers to make online contributions to the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) trust fund, and the new 30-day tax refund policy.

Zulfadli bin Abu Bakar briefs attendees at the roadshow. - AZLAN OTHMAN

Zulfadli bin Abu Bakar briefs attendees at the roadshow.

Exemption from corporate taxes, customs duties for pioneer status companies and exemption from taxes for local enterprises with revenue of less than $1 million, were also among other significant reforms made by the government.

Zulfadli also highlighted the Land Application and Registration Information System (LARIS), for all land-related application submissions, payments and tracking online.

Consequently, the purpose of the current roadshow is to create public awareness and better understanding on the business reforms implemented by the Ministry of Finance, such as trading across borders, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, resolving insolvency and starting a business.

Among the several participating agencies are the Treasury Department, the Royal Customs and Excise Department, the Employees Trust Fund, the Revenue Division and Registry of Companies and Business Names Division.

Also involved are relevant organisations such as the Ease of Doing Business Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office; Ministry of Home Affairs; Ports Department and DARe (Darussalam Enterprise).