Bandar Seri Begawan - A business delegation headed by the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore together with the Swedish Business Association of Singapore (SBAS) is currently in Brunei to meet with various ministries and departments as well as members of the local business community to identify possible business opportunities.
The delegation met with the Ministry of Development yesterday as part of a two-day visit to the Sultanate, which is also aimed at obtaining a better understanding of the economic development in Brunei and establishing long-term relations.
Representing the Ministry of Development yesterday was its Deputy Permanent Secretary, Awg Eddie bin Dato Paduka Hj Sunny, who briefed the delegation before tending to their inquiries.
Speaking in an interview, SBAS President Jan B Djerf said, "(The SBAS) comprises 250 Swedish companies located in Singapore and we arrange business delegations, primarily done by the Swedish Embassy in Singapore and the Swedish Business Association."
This delegation, he said, is the second business delegation to Brunei from the SBA in Singapore, and consists of 10 companies that are involved in various activities such as finance and healthcare.
"Some of the members of this delegation have never been to Brunei, so it is a fact-finding trip, and there are also constructive leads, particular business interest into various departments that we have met here," he said.
"It's a broad spectrum, but it is also down to detailed business discussions."
Speaking on what areas the companies might be looking to work in with Brunei, he said, "There are Swedish companies that provide products and services in many different areas. For example, we've had detailed discussions regarding healthcare as well as water management and waste management.
"If you look upon 250 Swedish companies that are situated in Singapore today, they go from MNCs (Multi-National Companies) down to one- to two-man companies," he continued.
"They could be consultancy firms, people in the IT business, and could also be involved in various kinds of creative activities."
The Ambassador of Sweden to Singapore and Brunei, Ingemar Dolfe, said of the visit, "What is of interest to the companies is the fact that Brunei has a very stable macroeconomic situation, providing a very good framework, and in view of that, the companies have a true interest in the business climate of this country and the possible business opportunities.
"Part of this programme includes receiving briefings from the various ministries, but also for the companies to meet representatives from the business community here in Brunei, and to learn from that what it is like to do business in Brunei."
Sharing his thoughts on how the visit has gone so far, the ambassador said, "We are very happy with the programme also organised by MOFAT.
"The overall impression we are getting is that the people we've met are very professional, have very clear-cut briefings and very good answers to the various questions being posed by the member companies.
"So that is the overall impression - a very professional attitude from the various ministries and departments we've, met so far," he added.
Today will see the Swedish delegation meeting with the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), before taking part in a panel discussion on trade and investment opportunities in Brunei.
The ambassador mentioned of today's meeting with BEDB that, "We believe it will be very useful for the companies that are thinking of doing business and investing here in Brunei."--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin