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MRT/LRT not feasible for Brunei


October 21, 2014

BASED on the findings in the National Master Plan for a Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam conducted by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), a MRT or LRT system is not feasible for the country because of low population density and high price tag of the system.


The conclusion was revealed by Dr Diana Cheong, Chief researcher of CSPS, who is also the principal researcher of the master plan, during an interview yesterday.

"We conducted a cost benefit analysis not only on the cost efficiency but also environment, social and political factors. Based on Wawasan 2035 projection of four to six per cent economic growth and future population growth, it was found that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the people."


Regarding car dependency, insufficient public transportation and traffic congestion, she said, "The backbone of the strategies in the master plan is to improve public transportation through the BRT system which will be supported by park-and-ride facilities. There will be a big public transport interchange."


Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications (2nd L), with senior officials at the event


Dr Diana Cheong, the Chief Researcher of CSPS with consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins China Limited


Some of the stakeholders at the forum. - PHOTOS: JAMES KON


She added, "We will not see the end of normal buses. The current bus system will be enhanced and will work as a feeder system for BRT, which is centred around Bandar Seri Begawan. There will be four major BRT lines. We are also looking at demand responsive transport system using taxis.


The master plan took more than a year to complete and was funded by the Brunei Research Council. The master plan was carried out with support of consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins China Limited.


The new transportation system is designed to meet the country's transportation needs, economic growth, urbanisation and improve the quality of life. It will also address environmental challenges of transportation.


Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, member of the CSPS Board of Director and Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister's Office, in a speech said, "The purpose of the national land transportation master plan, white paper and related roadmaps, collectively called LTMP study, is to set out a strategic framework and actionable proposals for the development of an integrated, high-quality, rapid, efficient and safe transport network for Brunei Darussalam. In ensuring sustainable, equitable and efficient connectivity and mobility, we hope that the LTMP study will not only address the transportation challenges today but also address the transportation challenges of our future as underlined in the goals of Wawasan 2035."


Some 80 stakeholders gathered at the forum on National Master Plan For Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.


The guest of honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications.


Source: Borneo Bulletin
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Brunei to Overhaul Land Transport System


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar giving his keynote speech. BT/Nadzri Zailani2014 - Brunei to Overhaul Land Transport System

BRUNEI will overhaul its land transport system under a new master plan that promises a more integrated, rapid and efficient transport network.

The Land Transport Master Plan sets out to reduce car dependency by improving public transport, including a bus rapid transit system with four major lines operating across the Brunei-Muara district.

A taxi franchise system will also be introduced to replace and increase the number of taxis in the Sultanate.

The master plan was a result of a two-year study by the think tank Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS).

Unveiling the plans to about 80 people at a CSPS forum yesterday, the Minister of Communications said four strategies will be implemented to address land transport challenges.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said the master plan will reduce car dependency, keep traffic moving, achieve a sustainable society and strengthen governance.

"Also in the pipeline is the establishment of the Land Transport Authority, which will further promote the development of the land transport sector in a regulated and sustainable manner," said the minister.

In a presentation at the forum, four consultants of the CSPS study proposed the removal of fuel subsidies in Brunei as their research suggests such a move would increase public transport ridership by 20 per cent.

However, they stressed that it was a proposal and that the recommendation was not part of the master plan as it was a "sensitive topic".

The research team set up under CSPS consisted of consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins International including Gary Ho, Jonathan Spears, Cameron MacDonald and Franki Li who presented an overview of the master plan.

The consultants explained that car dependency would be reduced through better connection for alternative modes of transport and better public transport services.

The master plan also includes improved parking, road and traffic management that will optimise the use of existing roads while increasing the road capacity to keep traffic moving.

Furthermore, the consultants said there are targets to build 140km of new roads and reach 60 per cent of trips taking less than 30 minutes, doubling the current 29 per cent.

In maintaining and achieving a sustainable society, the master plan would give incentives for low emission vehicles, hold green travel awareness campaigns and increase green vehicle technology.

The master plan would also reduce the number of road fatalities or severely injured by 50 per cent and reduce child casualties and injuries by 60 per cent, the consultants added.

An improved water transport system is also expected with improved docking locations and a national school bus system that ensures the safety of schoolchildren.

The consultants said several new government bodies would also be formed to strengthen governance including a Department of Parking and a new executive agency called the Transport for Brunei Authority.

Meanwhile, Hj Md Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos, a member of the CSPS Board of Directors, said the master plan was based on the needs of Vision 2035 to provide a sustainable land transportation system as the country is currently facing challenges such as car dependency, congestion, traffic pollution and road safety.

"Without policy action, these problems will result in increasingly negative consequences: raising costs for individuals, government, communities and investors, damaging future economic growth, undermining social inclusion and reducing the quality of life for Bruneians as well as those who visit and do business in the country," he said.


Source: The Brunei Times

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Brunei-Guangxi sign on for economic corridor


18 September, 2014


THE government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGC).


Brunei was represented by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Hajah Normah Suria Hayati binti Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, while Guangxi Government Vice-Governor Zhang Xiaoqin signed on behalf of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.


Present to witness the signing at the Marriott Hotel in Nanning were Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and Guangxi Governor Chen Wu.


Prior to the MoU signing, the Brunei minister paid a courtesy call on the Guangxi governor.


During the meeting, Wu noted that the MoU signing showed that "exchanges in cooperation between Guangxi and Brunei have entered a new stage of development."


Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Hajah Normah Suria Hayati shakes hands with Guangxi Government Vice-Governor Zhang Xiaoqin following the MoU signing, as Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and Guangxi Governor Chen Wu look on.


The Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor is the biggest project, he said, before adding that the next step is to come up with specific projects and cooperate in the production base. This, he believes, is very important for both countries.


"We are now building the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century, which will cover several areas including agriculture, maritime affairs, food production and tourism," he said.


Meanwhile, the Brunei minister noted that the signing signalled stronger cooperation between Brunei and Guangxi.


The Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor will move forward and one of the outcomes is to establish a working committee. For Brunei, the committee will be chaired by the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.


The BGC is a big market of the halal industry, one that has a trade worth of $7 million. This serves not only Muslims customers but also the non-Muslims.


The minister explained that ideas were mooted for an entire year, before eventually resulting in the signing of the MoU yesterday. The Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor is to develop Brunei and Guangxi Region in the areas of trade and bio industry. The idea is to help Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor (BIC), and in Guangxi, we are looking for places to help the production, which is quite significant.


In the Chinese market, Brunei is looking primarily at halal and bio industry that leans more towards agriculture production. We are not looking for an industrial park, unlike Malaysia or Singapore. As Brunei looks to enhance the bio industry, the special corridor between the two regions serves as a highway. We are going to develop it in Guangxi and we have counter production in BIC located in Tungku. The area is a 500-hectre park mainly for halal and bio industry, he said.

He added, processing will be done in Brunei, while the raw materials will be from Guangxi.


The minister will also visit Yulin Town, where there is traditional Chinese plants and herbs that could enhance the BIC.


With regard to paddy production in Brunei, he said, "We have difficulty with the soil, but we are still progressing. We have identified the problem and they are going to help us overcome the problem."


"The moment we have the corridor, we will have a direct shipping link that will reduce production cost. Brunei is introducing halal products to China, but the market has not caught up yet, possibly because they do not know or understand much about Halal goods," the minister explained.


Currently, Brunei has an office in Nanning, which will be useful for both corridors, and shows strong initiative for cooperation.


"Next year, Brunei will host an investment seminar. Now we are entering the second phase, with the first phase seeing the agreement signing and identifying places, the second phase is more about a possibility study of the project. The third phase will focus on breaking ground. But the most important thing is to get investors from China and Brunei, and we are looking for a mechanism to set up a special fund, because it is going to be a huge project," the minister added.


The Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor aims is to enhance the Brunei Halal Accreditation Brand and Brunei Bio Innovation Corridor.


Source:Borneo Bulletin
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Gary Ho presented in Chile "Brunei Bio-innovation Corridor"

15 September 2014



SQW China Limited ("SQW") is the company that runs the project "Brunei BioInnovation Corridor" (BIC), which seek to transform into a center of Brunei exports Halal and non-Halal products to the ASEAN region and China, a region that has the highest concentration of population worldwide. The Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Gary Ho said in Chile project characteristics and the advantages it brings to Chilean exporters.


The new big bet Brunei

Brunei is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, which allows you to export to the Americas via the Pacific Ocean. The Sultan of Brunei, considering the above and viewing to base the economy almost exclusively on the exploitation and marketing of hydrocarbons is not a sustainable scenario in time, given the task of designing a plan for attaining the diversification of the economy a scenario of medium and long term. Thus was born the project "Brunei BioInnovation Corridor" (BIC), with the main objective to diversify its economy beyond oil and gas and transform this country into an export port of Halal and non Halal products' to the ASEAN region and China.


"We are trying to attract companies to Brunei, considering that our commitment is to the development of Halal certified products that are destined to China and Muslim markets. We are experts in the field and for us Halal is a standard of quality, more than a religious requirement, now reaches a significant market consumers, which must surely also be an attraction for Chilean exporters, "said Gary Ho.


In addition, he explained SQW tasks is to implement the corridor. Raw material or semi-manufactured goods from the rest of the world, Chile will see a great opportunity, because we have trade agreements with this region of Asia that benefit us and also with a quality offering will be imported. Then he processed and packaged these products in Brunei finally export to ASEAN and China to meet regional demand, especially Halal "he said.


Why they came to Chile?

"Chile is internationally renowned for the quality of its food, social conditions and is a leader in the South American context. In addition, it is a business partner by TPP agreement-along with Singapore and New Zealand. Moreover, Chile is seen as strategic exit door for the food supply of the region to Southeast Asia. Half a year ago we started talking about the project in Chile and we discussed with the government of China. Brunei-Chile is a good route and the shortest trip from Chile to the area, he said.


What is the potential for Chilean products beyond?

"The intention is to have suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished or finished products, so as to enhance the total volume of production the available supply from Brunei. The Chilean supply can benefit from the facilities available in the agro-technology park, relatively lower than those present in other markets in the area, shorter than Singapore, strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia shipping routes and costs for low tariff rates entry into other markets in the region, "he added.


Gary Ho of SQW further explained that, on behalf of the Government of Brunei is looking for importers of food, cosmetics, personal care products and pharmaceuticals companies to establish processing plants and distribution in this corridor of Brunei. In this regard, he noted the existence of tariff preferences for Chileans.


"There are some products such as almonds and walnuts, which if directly shipped from Chile to China will pay 5%, and in the case of products pay 25% tariff preference. However, if sent to Brunei will pay 0%. The case is also found in fish, oils, frozen meat, and many others. Also for this string nuts delivers many benefits to be competitive " he said.


Finally, Gary Ho said he was hopeful of a fruitful relationship arising between Chile and Brunei in the context of the corridor. "We hope that in addition to working with China, Chile are encouraged to join a small country like Brunei on a long-term process and that together we can create a continuous sustainable economic development in these processes. We are very motivated to Chile, "he concluded.


Sources: BCN

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BINA mulls compensation for relocated tenants

Thursday, June 12, 2014


THE Brunei Industrial Development Authority (BINA) will look into the possibility of compensating tenants and businesses that will have to be relocated as part of the government's move to create "themed" industrial sites.


BINA will look into the possibility of compensating tenants and businesses that will have to be relocated as part of the government's move to create "themed" industrial sites. BT File


According to BINA's Acting Director Hj Metassan Hj Abd Salim, tenants which are currently operating at existing sites managed by BINA will have to be relocated according to the designated sites. That or these tenants have to change their line of business upon completion of each BINA site's masterplan.

Hj Metassan said the cooperation of other agencies will be crucial in ensuring successful implementation of the "themed" industrial sites and the efficient relocation programmes for the tenants.

He added BINA will be talking to relevant agencies to discuss the terms of compensation.

Hj Metassan hinted that the compensation might come in the form of "infrastructure", but said the plan will "have to be studied further."

He cited Singapore where the government offers two options for tenants that need to be relocated in another industrial site. Tenants who wish to stay at the same location have to change their business in line with the current site's theme. Otherwise, tenants have to move to another site.

He said even if the investors are willing to move out without protests, they should be compensated accordingly.

BINA operates industrial sites in Beribi, Serasa, Salar, Lambak Kanan Barat and Kuala Lurah in the Brunei-Muara District, an industrial site in Serambangun, Tutong and also sites in Pekan Belait and Sungai Bera in the Belait district. It also operates an industrial site in Batu Apoi in Temburong.

Acting on recommendations made by Hong Kong-based consultant SQW China Limited and taking examples from other countries, BINA is fomulating a master plan for each site.

Industrial sites will be classified into different ‘themes' so that each site can provide better and more industry-specific facilities to both local and foreign investors.

One "themed" site in the works is the Beribi industrial site. Due to the high presence of auto-service industries already there, the plan is to rebrand the area as the ‘Beribi Autocentre.' BINA is also planning to transform Kuala Lurah into a site for ‘green-industries.'

Source: The Brunei Times

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