Nov 7, 2011

Brunei - Brunei Princess envisions new paradigm for Brunei

Brunei Darussalam's Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bulqiah was in Singapore from October 31 to November 4 to attend the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW 2011), as well as conducting sideline working visits to various industries linked within the energy domain.

The week kickstarted with her attending the opening of SIEW 2011 at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, where she also sat in for the Singapore Energy Summit, Downstream Asia 2011 Conference and even visiting the Downstream Exhibition.

Apart from attending SIEW 2011, she spent the rest of the week visiting organisations relating to oil and gas, and downstream and power, to find out more about their roles and attributes in the development of the energy sector.

As part of HRH's busy schedule, she also visited the Mitsui Phenols Singapore (MPS) Pte Ltd in Jurong Island. Jurong Island is home to the world's chemical giants, where more than 90 leading petroleum, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and manufacturing companies from all over the world are located. The island boasts a total gross investment of more than US$27 billion, according to the Singapore Industry Chemical Council.

On the final day of her working visit, she went to Senoko Energy Pte Ltd, which is one of the island-state's largest and most efficient power generation companies, providing about one-third of the country's electricity as well as the Neste Oil Singapore Pte Ltd, whose core business is in renewable fuels.

Following the conclusion of her five-day visit to the island-state, the princess consented to answer questions posed by The Brunei Times, where she shared her views on the impact the energy sector will have on Brunei, as well as the highlights of her trip.

The Brunei Times: HRH has clearly expressed interest in the energy sector, as seen throughout the visit here in Singapore. Can you give us your view?

HRH: It is my beloved father's visions and aspiration to further develop Brunei Darussalam and realise the objectives and vision of the Wawasan 2035 as a sustainable economy and growth in a challenging world. Personally I see it as the rebirth of Brunei Darussalam in 21st Century.

I envision a new paradigm for the future of Brunei Darussalam because our country has recently begun a period of extraordinary growth.  A politically stable country, rich in cultural heritage and energy resources has begun a new era of development, with renewed national focus on local industrial growth and significant additional discoveries of offshore oil and gas fields.

BT: How did HRH find the visits to SIEW 2011 on Monday and Tuesday (October 31 and November 1), as well as the sideline site visits? What has HRH learnt from this experience?

HRH: I am very honoured to be given the opportunity to participate in SIEW 2011 as well as the sideline site visits.

It was an eye opener as it gave me the insight on the current and future challenges in the energy sector such as Climate Change and Technological Advancements and the potential consequences to Brunei Darussalam who was always been a key player in the Energy Sector in Asia.

With the shift in the Energy Spectrum from the west to east (Asia), Brunei now has to play an even more important role in supporting this shift in order to ensure its economic sustainability.

BT:  What were the highlights of HRH's trip here in Singapore?

HRH: The visit to Jurong Island was my highlight because this further strengthened my belief that Brunei's plan to develop Pulau Muara Besar as an integrated Energy Industry is a logical strategy.

The Jurong Island model has proven that the development of Pulau Muara Besar is possible and feasible as long as the Brunei Government plays its role in providing the right support and infrastructure.

What impressed me the most was how the various companies on Jurong Island are complementing each other to have an efficient and effective business operation and did not give rise to any monopoly.

BT: Are there any other interests HRH has apart from the energy sector regarding national development that HRH would like to share? For example, youth development, sports and social welfare?

HRH: An effective education system is a vital platform for Brunei Darussalam to realise  the objectives and vision of Wawasan 2035 and the energy sector will play a crucial role as a catalyst for the success of youth development, Sports and social welfare through scholarships, sponsorships, promoting good Corporate Social Responsibility and thus will enable the Government to concentrate  as an effective regulator.

Rachel Thien
The Brunei Times

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