Key Projects of Brunei Darussalam
Renovation and refurbishment of Ong Sum Ping Apartments
In a joint PPP between the government of Brunei, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and Bina Puri Holdings of Malaysia, work was carried out for the renovation and refurbishment of three unoccupied building blocks in Jalan Ong Sum Ping in Bandar Seri Begawan. The project saw the conversion of the unused buildings into modern luxury apartments. Under the PPP agreement, Bina Puri Holdings invested B$9.2 million in the refurbishment of the apartments and guaranteed to provide the government with annual payments for a period of 20 years following completion of the project in 2011. The project was implemented to promote the development of property in Brunei in a bid to stimulate economic growth.
Historically, Brunei Darussalam’s socio-economic growth was largely fuelled by government spending on infrastructure. Public-sector spending in Brunei relies heavily on the country’s large oil and gas reserves. This raises the question of how to achieve sustainable long-term investment, as oil and gas are finite resources.
During the time of the Seventh National Development Plan (1996-2000), the government reviewed the need for greater private sector investment and established that more significant contributions from the private sector would be possible only with substantial private sector growth. In a bid to solve this problem, the government invested in developing alternative strategies to maintain and improve the quality of public services. Privatisation is one such development strategy, first incorporated in the Fifth National Development Plan (1986-90), which remained at the forefront of government planning for several years.
More recently the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) of the Prime Minister’s Office expressed the country’s commitment to creating public-private partnerships as a means of developing infrastructure in the country. This comes as part of Brunei’s Wawasan 2035 vision of developing and maintaining world-class facilities in the country. The use of PPPs in infrastructural development presents an alternative means of financing projects, on top of the National Development Plan budget funding. The BEDB is optimistic that, through PPPs, infrastructure development projects will become less reliant on the use of government resources.