BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) is exploring more investment opportunities in aquaculture, particularly in salmon farming in Brunei, the second minister of finance and economy on Tuesday.

OBIC already owns a 50 percent stake in Golden Corporation, a local shrimp exporter. 

When OBIC acquired a share in Golden Cooperation back in 2019, the company was harvesting 500 tonnes of shrimp [per year], Dato Dr Hj Amin Liew Abdullah said during the opening of the Oman-Brunei Darussalam Cooperation Dialogue.

“Despite COVID-19 related challenges, Golden Corporation was able to expand [production] by another 135 ponds, harvest over 4,000 tonnes of shrimp, and improve production capacity, cold storage facility as well as manufacturing and transport related logistics,” he added.

OBIC’s total capital is US$200 million with investments in aviation, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, manufacturing, telecommunications, education, as well as food manufacturing.

A private equity fund, OBIC was jointly established by Oman Investment Authority and Brunei Investment Agency in 2009 with the aim of encouraging more investment between the two countries. 

“With these various successful ventures in many areas, OBIC has become an excellent model of joint investment between the nations’ sovereign funds delivering tangible economic benefits in both countries,” said Dato Dr Hj Amin.

“However, we are cognisant that the pandemic has pushed for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic development pathways.” 

As the world emerges from the pandemic, Brunei and Oman will focus on identifying avenues for long-term economic growth, the minister said.

“These no doubt require enabling ecosystem and governance policy reforms as well as capacity building to ensure sustained food security, clean energy, inclusive trade and economic agenda.

“Technical know-how, innovative financing and investment — both from public and private sources — are also critical in building infrastructure and promoting the use of transformative, clean technologies,” he added.

Oman ambassador Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari said the three-day dialogue aims to identify more opportunities in investment and education. 

“It falls under the two important categories of economic diplomacy and public diplomacy, which are increasingly being recognised as having significant effects on political diplomacy, especially as the world is trying to recover from the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The Brunei-Oman Joint Committee also held a meeting on Monday, where both countries agreed to revitalise discussions on cooperation in agriculture, tourism and the food industry.