The nation’s Wawasan 2035 envisions national development, economic diversification and generation of gainful employment for Brunei Darussalam. Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd (Darussalam Assets) is an integral part of the Government’s objective to meaningfully increase the contribution from profitable, sustainable and commercial enterprises – Brunei’s very own Government-linked Companies (GLCs) – to turn a vision into reality. With an important mandate to manage the performance of GLCs based on commercial principles and good governance, Darussalam Assets supports operational excellence, promotes best practices and strives to improve the value for money of products and services offered by its Group of Companies, with an overarching agenda to provide for the nation.

Darussalam Assets was incorporated as a private limited company to hold Brunei’s GLCs on behalf of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Its role is to strategically transform companies it operates into world-class corporations, to become a strong pioneer in the private sector and to operate as the Government’s corporatisation vehicle. Its current portfolio boasts major players in a number of sectors including aviation, telecommunications, power utilities, logistics, agribusiness, food and beverage, leisure and tourism, medical, education, hospitality and real estate.

With a vision to inspire and institute excellence in corporate performance, Darussalam Assets’ mission is more substantive; to build a sustainable foundation to spur economic vitality in harmony with nation-building objectives. GLCs have been a common vehicle used across Asia since the late 20th century to achieve a myriad of public policy objectives such as to kick-start development in the private sector, develop targeted industries and to provide economic opportunities. In Brunei Darussalam, GLCs are also required to operate in compliance to the Competition Order 2015.


His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam operating the paddy transplanter machine at the commercial paddy farm in the Agricultural Development Area (KKP) Kandol in Belait District managed by PaddyCo Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary under Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in international and local food supply chains were evident. The necessity of social distancing measures pressurised survivability of businesses. Nevertheless, the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, through Darussalam Assets and its’ subsidiaries of GLCs stepped in with various initiatives to secure national food security whilst promoting local business development during the pandemic.

A notable example of helping to grow the industry is Royal Brunei Culinary (“RBC”); a national provider of aircraft catering services, institutional catering services and operator of several locally famed restaurants. In the 1980s, the Government and RBC recognised the need to kick-start growth of the local restaurant sector, thus, RBC invested in international fast-food franchises, fine dining restaurants and halal Chinese food restaurants; an investment amount that would not have been economically feasible by the private sector at that time. Such investments immediately created direct employment opportunities and made wide-ranging cuisines available to local Bruneians. This has spurred the local restaurant scene, which has developed considerably as made evident by the growth in the number of restaurant outlets and international cuisines now readily available and provided by the private sector. As a further benefit, the improved and unique local restaurant scene has earmarked Brunei as a food destination among foreign tourists, which has helped to complement growth in Brunei’s tourism sector. Nonetheless, Darussalam Assets recognises the risk of overcrowding in segments of the private sector. With the strength of the food and beverage industry at present time and through RBC’s newly launched Central Kitchen in December 2020, RBC is now restrategising and prioritising its focus towards providing support to complement the growth of MSMEs in the industry. Such strategies includes supplying processed raw materials to the private sector and providing Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) services to MSMEs.

McDonald’s Brunei; an international fast-food franchise in Brunei, has provided employment for over 240 local employees. It is owned and managed by Makan Ceria Sdn Bhd; a subsidiary under Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd.

In industries that still require support and potential development, GLCs have been a provider of economic opportunities for local MSMEs. Armada Properties Sdn Bhd; a GLC in the real estate and property management industry, has recently engaged local MSMEs in September 2020 to provide housekeeping and retail services for its vast portfolio of housing estates and units. Similarly, Progresif Sdn Bhd, through the Progresif Startup Lab, has supported the growth of local entrepreneurship with the incubation of innovative MSMEs such as Dart Brunei and Mindtrex Academy. In addition to providing economic opportunities, such opportunities provided by GLCs will raise the standards of MSMEs and allow them to compete for further economic opportunities.  Similar engagements of MSMEs are widespread across Darussalam Assets’ portfolio of companies.

The Junction; a retail entrepreneurship programme providing locals with the employment opportunity to own and operate convenience stores under the Ghanim brand.

A further example of GLCs helping to achieve public policy goals whilst concurrently supporting MSMEs can be exemplified through Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd’s (“Ghanim”), a GLC in the wholesale food industry. Ghanim’s objective is to build and market the ‘bruneihalalfoods’ brand to become the gateway to export locally-produced food products to the international market. Since incorporation in 2009, Ghanim has worked with MSMEs to produce more than 100 unique products under the ‘bruneihalalfoods’ brand that have been distributed to more than 300 local and international retail stores such as in the People’s Republic of China and Singapore.  More recently, Ghanim launched ‘The Junction’ Retail Entrepreneurship Programme’ in April 2021. With an initial outlay of three (3) stores, this programme enables locals to own and operate convenience stores under Ghanim’s ‘The Junction’ brand via a franchise model with the ultimate aim of providing employment opportunities for locals in the domestic retail market. This programme levels the playing field for locals in the retail sector as it leverages on Ghanim’s ability to procure at bulk and competitive pricing. Furthermore, The Junction provides an avenue for local MSME products to enter the market as The Junction places an emphasis on the stock keeping of local MSME products such as the ‘bruneihalalfoods’ brand by Ghanim, ‘One Village One Product’ range by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and products under Darussalam Enterprise’s ‘Bruneian-Made’ initiative.

The roles of GLCs exist beyond its operations in spearheading private sector development. GLCs also hold responsibilities in safeguarding food security for the nation. This was most evident with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei in March 2020. With the closure of local markets due to social distancing measures in early 2020, Ghanim helped local farmers to sell their produce via the ‘Buy Local Produce Campaign’. The Buy Local Produce Campaign was an initiative to collect, process and sell local farm produce in the absence of local markets. This reduced local food waste, ensured local production of farm produce and guaranteed local farmers to continue to earn income during the market closures. Ghanim is set to continue this initiative on a much-larger scale with the construction of the Brunei Food Industry Development Multipurpose Manufacturing Facility (BFID) in collaboration with Darussalam Enterprise. With a planned operational date in late 2021, BFID will be compliant to international standards and will consist of multiple production lines including an investment that enables further processing and prolonging shelf life of local farm produce. Moreover, in line with the policy goal of fostering MSME development, a set amount of production is to be dedicated towards MSME products. This initiative has taken place at RBC’s Central Kitchen via the production of products under MoHA’s ‘One Village One Product’ initiative. RBC’s Central Kitchen, in combination with BFID by Ghanim, will raise the standards of food production in Brunei. In addition to providing a gateway for MSME products to be exported overseas, these facilities run by GLCs will play a key role in attaining Brunei Darussalam’s national food security aspirations via the import substitution of processed food products.

The Junction; a retail entrepreneurship programme providing locals with the employment opportunity to own and operate convenience stores under the Ghanim brand.

The onset of COVID-19 heavily affected international and local supply chains for beef and beef-related products. To minimise the impact on supply, the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam supported PDS Abattoir Sdn Bhd (“PDS”), a GLC in the agribusiness industry, and helped them to meet the growing supply shortage of beef in the local market via the regular importation of ready-to-slaughter live cattle from Australia. As the pandemic continued to take hold, further local supply shortages in other meat products such as lamb began to flare. Once again, PDS helped to ensure food security via the rapid construction of a sheep yard and thereafter imported ready-to-slaughter lamb from Indonesia and Australia. Additionally, PDS plans to launch its’ flagship Feedlot programme in the near-term. This Feedlot programme will allow PDS to supply higher quantities of premium halal quality meat at competitive prices, further enabling PDS to support the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s goal of ensuring national food security for the nation during COVID-19 and the ‘new normal’.

Berakas Power Company Sdn Bhd (BPC), a subsidiary under Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd, announced its first i-Usahawan contract award to a local company; Al-Fayyadh Management Sdn Bhd, following a contract signing ceremony at BPC Headquarters in Terunjing, Berakas on 8 December 2020. The contract will provide employment for seven (7) local cleaners.

Darussalam Assets, and the GLCs under its purview, will continue to play a key role in fostering economic opportunities and attaining public policy goals of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. In addition to being a champion of economic development and employment opportunities, GLCs set and raise the standards in the private sector. This contributes significantly to the national aspiration of attaining the goal of a dynamic and sustainable economy under Wawasan 2035.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.