MPRT Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong (L) and Deputy Minister of China’s General Administration of Customs Dr Zhang Jiwen during the signing of the protocol agreement. Image: Courtesy of MPRT

Brunei-grown muskmelons may be entering the Chinese market soon as Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) recently signed a protocol agreement with the General Administration of Customs of China in Beijing.

The agreement was dubbed the “Protocol Between The General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam on Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Fresh Melon from Brunei Darussalam to China”.

The signing was held at Xinhui Jinjiang Hotel between MPRT Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong and Deputy Minister of China’s General Administration of Customs Dr Zhang Jiwen.

The ceremony was also held in conjunction with YB Dato Hj Ali Apong’s three-day working visit to China which proceeded with a bilateral meeting with Dr Zhang Jiwen to discuss about obtaining export protocols for agriculture and aquaculture products from Brunei so they may be exported to the world’s second largest economy.

Melts Japanese Arus Muskmelons being grown at Superfish Growers in Agrotechnology Park in Kg Tungku. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“With the approval and acceptance of China for Brunei to export these products, it will have a positive and significant impact on the fruits industry such as muskmelons, the livestock industry and the aquaculture industry,” read a press statement.

With the possibility of Bruneian products penetrating the Chinese market, the ministry said this could play a significant role in strengthening the agriculture, livestock and fisheries industry in the sultanate thus contributing to the country’s GDP growth.

In a previous article, Brunei’s premium muskmelon producer, Superfish Growers have expressed interest in exporting to China having engaged with Chinese fruit retail giant Pagoda which has more than 3,700 stores and 23 warehouses in over 70 cities.

Willy Lee, Chief Technician and Co-founder of Superfish Growers inspecting a Japanese Arus Muskmelon at Superfish Growers, Agrotechnology Park. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“It’s a big market and they can actually import most of our produce,” the company’s co-founder Willy Lee told The Bruneian, adding that Superfish Growers has the ability to produce 2,000 tonnes of muskmelons when they reach full capacity.

The ability to export to China can have a positive direct impact towards the product of meat and aquaculture products for export, the ministry continued, with PDS Sdn Bhd expected to double their production from the current 1,300 metric tonnes per year.

“The output of aquaculture products from aquaculture companies is also expected to increase from 16,000 metric tonnes per year to 20,000 metric tonnes per year,” it added.

The minister’s working visit began on December 16 until 18, and also saw a bilateral meeting between YB Dato Hj Ali Apong and China’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Yu Xinrong.

Among the topics discussed was the potential areas of cooperation that can be explored between Brunei and China particularly in the field of technology for the cultivation of hybrid rice and other crop industries. – Wardi Wasil 

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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