Brunei Minister of Home Affairs: 17 FDI Firms Create 1,321 Jobs


17 FDI firms create 1,321 jobs
on: March 21, 2017I

| Azlan Othman |

THE government has managed to attract foreign investors to the country, and will continue striving to provide an ecosystem conducive to making Brunei Darussalam an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination, in an effort to diversify the national economy, said YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs.

In his wrap-up speech on the 11th day of the 13th Legislative Council session yesterday, the minister said it is undeniable that the presence of FDI companies has contributed to national economic growth. At present, 17 foreign companies are operating in the country, providing employment to 1,321 local workers – or 58 per cent of the total number of employees under their hire, he said.

In fact, many foreign companies hire more local employees compared to foreign workers. Examples of such companies include Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd (BMC), with 203 locals under hire compared to 26 foreign workers; Simphor Pharma, with 63 per cent local employees; Beibu Ports Maintenance, 80 per cent local staff; and HLDS, with 66 per cent local employees, the minister said.

However, in certain sectors, the proportion of foreign workers is slightly higher, as in the case of Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, where 52 per cent (328 people) of employees are locals, and the Temburong Bridge Project with 42 per cent locals (151 people).

Meanwhile, in other employment sectors, there still exists a high proportion of migrant workers. Based on the Employers and Employees 2015 Census, across 19 job categories, 82,739 foreign workers were hired. This is broken down as follows: Agriculture (64 per cent); forestry and fisheries (78 per cent); manufacturing (79 per cent); construction (87 per cent); and activities providing shelter and food (70 per cent).

This indicates that, within certain areas, Brunei still lacks a sufficiently skilled and experienced workforce. Therefore, the contribution from foreign workers to perform the necessary work to make our country more competitive is still needed, the minister said.

There is an obvious need for the local workforce to fill this void through continuous training and coaching, to hone their skills and experience in line with the Bruneisation programme – a strategic focus to increase the capacity and human capital of Bruneians.

YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar added that in recognising this, the government has taken steps to create several programmes and initiatives to ensure a threshold level of skills and competencies is attained by workers within certain sectors. These include the introduction of the Industrial Competency Framework and skills training programmes conducted through educational and training institutions.

“Apprenticeship programmes like i-Ready will provide valuable work experience to graduates, and improve their abilities and marketability, to reduce the likelihood of job ‘mismatching’. We hope that such opportunities will be utilised properly by graduates for their own good and to increase their own capacities,” the minister added.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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