I AM writing this letter after seeing two recent developments:
1. A main investor from China is developing an integrated refinery here; however, I am very sad to see that the company has set up its Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore.
2. The pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) has also decided to locate its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
Both these companies could have been enticed to come to Brunei with better incentives.
Our corporate tax which at 18.5 per cent is just slightly more than Singapore’s which stands at 17 per cent; but compared to other neighbouring countries, we do better – Thailand (20 per cent), Malaysia (24 per cent) and Indonesia (25 per cent).
Corporate tax is just one of the factors multinationals look at when they decide to set up base overseas.
Our other advantages are ‘peace and stability’, a ‘very stable government’, a ‘safe living environment for families’ and a ‘relatively lack of climatic disasters’.
It is important to get them to set up their base here because these huge multinational companies would create a massive number of employment opportunities in various fields such as accounting, finance, purchasing, administration, health, safety, security, environment and human resources. Most of these can be done by locals; hence, by having these companies operating here it will be a perfect timing as, we currently face job scarcity.
If major multinationals are based here, they will also increase Brunei’s business profile. This will encourage us to expand our direct air connectivity to regional and international destinations.
– Anak Tempatan
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