360° Coverage : Brunei beckons India's pharma, tourism industries (Comment...

10 Updates
Brunei beckons India's pharma, tourism industries (Comment, Special to IANS)
Photo Credit: , Getty Images

Brunei beckons India's pharma, tourism industries (Comment, Special to IANS)

Oct 20 2013, 5:40am CDT | by IANS

India's pharmaceutical and tourism industries should take a look at the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, where the two area hold immense potential for partnership. The island nation of 400,000 people, located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, is home to some of the world's virgin rainforests with mega biodiversity. It hosts thousands of species of flowering plants, palms, ferns, orchids, mosses, lichens and liverworts.

India's pharmaceutical and tourism industries should take a look at the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, where the two area hold immense potential for partnership. The island nation of 400,000 people...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

1 year ago

Brunei beckons India's pharma, tourism industries (Comment, Special to IANS)

Oct 20 2013, 5:40am CDT | by IANS

India's pharmaceutical and tourism industries should take a look at the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, where the two area hold immense potential for partnership. The island nation of 400,000 people, located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, is home to some of the world's virgin rainforests with mega biodiversity. It hosts thousands of species of flowering plants, palms, ferns, orchids, mosses, lichens and liverworts.

India's pharmaceutical and tourism industries should take a look at the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, where the two area hold immense potential for partnership. The island nation of 400,000 people, located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, is home to some of the world's virgin rainforests with mega biodiversity. It hosts thousands of species of flowering plants, palms, ferns, orchids, mosses, lichens and liverworts.

Bioprospectors have discovered a wide variety of chemicals in the flora of these tropical forests. The Borneo rainforests are some of the oldest in the world and are a reservoir of genetic diversity which offers a rich source of medicinal plants, high-yield foods, and other useful forest products.

Scientists from around the world are coming to Brunei to discover beneficial chemicals or compounds that occur naturally and which have huge scientific and medical applications.

China is eyeing Brunei to partner in its pharma industry as Borneo has for centuries supplied Chinese traditional medicine with important raw materials.

The Sultanate under the "Wawasan Vision 2035" is seeking a knowledge-based transformation of society. It has adopted a strategy to diversify its economy, based currently on oil and gas resources, and expand business opportunities through promotion of investment, foreign and domestic, both in downstream industries and in clusters beyond the hydrocarbon sector.

The government has identified the sultanate's rich biodiversity and educated workforce as key factors in promoting research and development (R&D) and attracting overseas investors to partner in projects.

Thus, the forestry department is going ahead with plans for a biotechnology industry to develop pharmaceuticals from the microbes found in the rainforests.

Japan-based National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) and Bruneian scientists are researching the possibilities of using microbes for pharmaceutical purposes.

Germany is another country looking to partner Brunei in pharmaceuticals culled from the Sultanate's diverse plant life.

After speaking to a cross-section of people during a recent visit to the country, this correspondent got the impression that there is a lot of opportunities in the R&D sector and Brunei can be a "valuable partner" for Indian pharma and biotech industry.

Healthcare industry observers point to how the world has in recent years seen a resurgence in the traditional, complementary and alternative system of medicine because of the rising medical cost.

Like elsewhere in Southeast Asia, India's Ayurveda and Siddha systems of medicare are in use in Brunei because of the millennial historical and cultural contacts between India and the region.

Brunei is bound in the north by the South China Sea and surrounded by Malaysia. The coastal position puts Brunei close to vital sea lanes linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Brunei's earliest known history dates back to 6th century, when it was called "Puni (a distortion of the Sanskrit "Baruni"), or "Poli". Then a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom, it had linkages with the Sumatran Srivijaya empire and the Majapahit empire of Java, Indonesia.

In the late 14th century, Brunei converted to an Islamic Sultanate when its ruler, Awang Alak Betatar, married a Muslim Johore princess from Malacca, and embraced Islam to become Brunei's first Sultan.

The total population of Brunei is a little over 400,000. About 67 percent are ethnically Malay, 16 percent Chinese, almost 12 percent Indian, European or Filipino, and 6 percent indigenous people like the Iban, an ocean-going subgroup of the Dayak, Dusun and the Melanau.

Although Brunei's official language is standard Malay, English is widely spoken and understood as the nation was a British protectorate till 1984.

Oil and gas exports account for the bulk of government revenues. But as reserves are coming down, Brunei in a bid to diversify the economy is marketing itself as a destination for eco-tourism and a financial centre.

Tourism professionals say pristine rainforests, unspoiled coral reefs, mangrove-covered islands, white sand beaches and accessible nature reserves offer visitors an array of eco-tourism options.

The discovery of oil in 1929 had brought a substantial number of Indians into Brunei in the sector and allied services, and later into other professions such as teaching, medicine, engineering, IT and banking.

India established diplomatic relations with Brunei in 1984 after it got independence from Britain. Brunei and India enjoy a fair degree of commonality in their perceptions of major international issues, say officials.

Brunei is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Brunei supports India's "Look East" policy which aims at broadening its strategic and economic outlook with Southeast Asian nations.

Indian High Commissioner L.D. Ralte said, during a recent visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, there could be greater bilateral collaboration in certain sectors.

"There are areas that we need to concentrate on in order to improve our relationship further, such as direct connections in transport, mutual recognition of education degrees, diversification of our economic relationship (at the moment this is mainly hinged on our petroleum imports from Brunei) and easier movement of manpower between our countries."

There is also room for more cooperation in information and communications technology, particularly private sector collaborations and joint ventures.

Brunei is strategically located at the geographical heart of Southeast Asia. It thus holds the promise of becoming a hub of air, sea and Internet communication between India and the ASEAN countries.

Due to the small size of population and therefore consumer demand, most of the goods from India come into Brunei through re-exports via Malaysia and Singapore. The signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreement in December is expected to boost bilateral trade and investment.

(Saroj Mohanty is a strategic analyst with IANS. He can be contacted at saroj.m@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

Telangana govt presents Rs 1 lakh crore budget with a focus on basic needs

Nov 5 2014 4:46am CST | Source: Business Standard

Roads and water resources on top of the agenda; govt to establish land bank with 5 ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
Update
9

6 weeks ago

Indian Markets Scale New Peaks on Reforms Euphoria

Nov 5 2014 3:33am CST | Source: IBTimes UK

Indian investors cheer falling oil prices and New Delhi's intention to further reform Asia's th ...
Source: IBTimes UK   Full article at: IBTimes UK
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

WTO impasse due to unreasonable posturing by rich nations: FM

Nov 5 2014 3:24am CST | Source: Business Standard

Blaming "unreasonable posturing" by some developed countries for impasse at the WTO talks, India today said it is not opposed to trade facilitation pact but wants the present system for holding food stock to continue till a perm ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

Countries must refrain from hosting terrorist acts: Rajnath Singh

Nov 5 2014 2:51am CST | Source: Business Standard

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India has said nations must refrain from hosting and encouraging terror activities and ensure that their territories are not used f ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

Govt aims at creating fair biz environment: Jaitley

Nov 5 2014 1:58am CST | Source: Business Today

Retrospective taxation is one bad idea that damaged the economy, the finance minister said while speaking at the India Economic ...
Source: Business Today   Full article at: Business Today
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Indian mortar shell explosion kills three children

Nov 5 2014 1:50am CST | Source: The Nation - Pakistan

Narowal- An Indian mortar shell exploded in a Narowal village on Tuesday, killing three children and injuring many others. Narowal's Pind Toghal Pur was devastated after the deadly accident. Reportedly, the village children found the shell in an open field, brought it home, and began playing with it, the police said. According to sources, one of the c ...
Source: The Nation - Pakistan   Full article at: The Nation - Pakistan
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

JMM rejects RJD's offer of support in Jharkhand

Nov 5 2014 12:55am CST | Source: Business Standard

The JMM, which runs a coalition government in Jharkhand with Congress and RJD support, has rejected RJD's offer to support each other's sitting MLAs in the ensuing Assembly ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
Update
3

6 weeks ago

India moves two warships away from Kolkata port after terror alert

Nov 4 2014 11:39pm CST | Source: The Nation - Pakistan

(Reuters) - India's navy withdrew two warships from the eastern port of Kolkata on Tuesday after intelligence agencies warned of an attack on the port and the city, police and navy officers said. The rare move came two days after a suicide bomber killed 60 people on the Pakistani side of the main border crossing with India hundreds of miles to the west, deepening fears that Pakistan's internal ... ...
Source: The Nation - Pakistan   Full article at: The Nation - Pakistan
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

The bet of the year so far in 2014? India

Nov 4 2014 10:01am CST | Source: MoneyWeek

Investors in India have had a cracking year so far. Kam Patel looks at the reasons behind India’s success.The post The bet of the year so far in 2014? India was first publish ...
Source: MoneyWeek   Full article at: MoneyWeek
 

 
Update
1

6 weeks ago

United colours of Kolkata

Nov 4 2014 9:33am CST | Source: Business Standard

Emission norms, weight, engine size, passenger capacity and so on may be important guidelines for a public transport vehicle. But for the West Bengal government, colour appears to be of equal importance. Or, to be precise, any colou ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Russia allows buffalo meat imports from India
Moscow, Dec 4 (IANS/TASS) Russia has allowed imports of buffalo meat from India, the country's veterinary regulator said Thursday.
 
 
New guidelines for prostate cancer testing
Melbourne, Dec 4 (IANS) Prostate cancer checks in Australia are set to improve after cancer agencies and health experts reached an agreement on new testing guidelines at the World Cancer Congress (WCC) currently being held in Melbourne.
 
 
Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human.
 
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla