Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vast business potentials for eco-tourism in Brunei

By Azaraimy HH

Singapore's vast appetites for eco-travels and cultural tours, especially in the growing educational trips, open up great potential for Brunei's vast green jewel, voiced Singaporean companies on their optimism during a Brunei-Singapore business matching at the International Halal Product Expo in the International Convention Centre yesterday.

Companies like JMA Consulting Group Pte Ltd said nature-touring is gaining popularity among primary and secondary schools in Singapore, and due to the pristine condition of Brunei's forest reserve, coupled with the ambition for a full fledge eco-tourism industry, especially with the Heart of Borneo initiatives, Brunei can easily, if tap, become a ready destination for nature-based educational tours.

JMA Consulting chief executive officer, Sharifah Maznah Syed Omar, said after learning the potential of Brunei's eco-tourism, the company is in the process of networking and identifying potential tour operators as partners.

At the business matching, Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Dato Paduka Hj Hamdilah Hj Abdul Wahab, said being very close neighbours, Singaporeans know the conditions here and what Brunei can offer as potential business and investment partners.

"We have sustainably been conserving our pristine tropical forests, which covers around 75 per cent of our total area today, through a capped production and cut one-plant policy.

"And through territorial initiative of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, Brunei will be allocating 58 per cent of our land area to the Heart of Borneo, commercialising the value of the forest by developing and promoting eco-tourism in the short-term, undertaking research and development of microbes and micro-organisms with NITE of Japan plus other interested parties, and harnessing of our bio-diversity as we become a signatory to the Convention to Biodiversity starting this year."

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Sunday

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