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Brunei, Taiwan trade growth hits 'historical' level

Trade between Brunei and Taiwan amounted to US$80 million, which is growth of 117 percent from 2010 to 2011, and it is the Bruneian side with a trade surplus.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Representative Terry Ting told the Bruneian media yesterday that the trade figures were “historical” as the two sides never had such volumes of trade in the past.

Besides trade reaching US$80 million, Ting said that Brunei had exported US$41 million worth of goods to Taiwan, whilst Taiwan's exports to the Sultanate made up the other US$39 million.

Ting said that Brunei's downstream products deriving from liquefied natural gas (LNG) was the main source of exports to Taiwan.

“Statistics shows that Taiwan is steadily importing methanol from Brunei every month. But we are not going to stop there. We want to invest in Brunei's downstream industry, particularly, LNG,” he said, adding that Taiwan had recently reach an agreement with Australia for the cooperation on downstream industries.

“We want the same kind of agreement with Brunei. And we are not naive, we want to be involved in a lot of industries in Brunei, but there are many international competitors down there. However, we believe with downstream products and investments, Taiwan has an opportunity in Brunei,” said Ting during a luncheon with the media yesterday.

The representative said that during his visit to the Brunei Methanol Company (BMC), he found out that Taiwan's purchases only occupied 5 percent of BMC's total products.

“That means there is more opportunity for expanding imports (from BMC) and there is potential for Taiwan to invest in this,” he said.

Trade between Taiwan and Brunei in 2009 only amounted to US$500,000 but in 2011 it grew 81 times as compared to 2009, and compared to 2010, it multiplied by 34 times.

“We start strongly approaching the importation of methanol, because of the relation and mutual trust with Brunei which is already built. I think now we know each other well,” he said.

Brunei's main imports from Taiwan are mostly high-tech information technology (IT) goods, machinery related to agriculture, automobile parts, LCD/LED panels and green solar panels.

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