The Brunei Times/ANN
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said projects under the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor need to deliver results soon to strengthen bilateral trade and contribute to the sultanate’s aim to diversify its economy.
In a press conference held Thursday, Wang said the projects - which include Muara Port development, the Nanning-Brunei agricultural park, the Yulin-Brunei Chinese medicine park, rice farming and aquaculture - are in line with Wawasan (Vision) 2035’s objectives.
“We hope to see early and concrete results to be delivered from these projects,” he told the media towards the end of his two-day visit in the sultanate.
He was in the country at the invitation of Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng.
He said a joint working group meeting will be held in the first half of the year to discuss more developments on the economic corridor.
Brunei signed an agreement in September 2014 with the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to establish the economic corridor which will see over $500 million worth of joint investments. The corridor will also establish a supply chain link that can boost trade and investment. The Guangxi Zhuang region is located in the southern part of China with direct access to the South China Sea. Apart from its strategic location, the region is also rich in natural resources and has a big skilled labour force, making it an ideal trade partner for Brunei.
In an April 2015 report, Peng Qinghua, Secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Guangxi Committee and Chairman of the Standing Committee of Guangxi People’s Congress said the implementation of the first cooperative projects under the corridor needs to be accelerated.
At that time, he said one of the proposed projects is for Muara Port to be cooperatively run by the Brunei government and the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Group, a state-owned corporation which handles ports management and shipping logistics.
He said such venture will increase Muara Port’s container throughput from 220,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to one million TEUs by the year 2021.
The Chinese company had invested US$100 million in 2013 to acquire a 40 per cent stake of Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd and co-manage one of Malaysia’s key shipping ports.
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