Singaporean investment house Angus International Holdings plans on investing up to USD 50 million to build its food manufacturing plant in Brunei – which will also be producing a diverse range of pastries besides its signature snack Mochi.
The firm, which was allocated with a 1.2 hectare site at the Bio-Innovation Corridor in Kg Tungku last year has recently gained approval from relevant agencies to proceed with constructing its food processing plant.
Works involved in pushing for the approval include understanding the legal handlings starting a factory in Brunei and other relevant factors including confirming the size of the site and its surroundings.
The factory is expected to start its operation sometime in 2021; about 18 to 24 months from now.
Angus International holding’s Chairperson Louis Ang told The Bruneian that he plans to invest about USD 30 million to USD 50 million to build the factory alone.
“The cost also involves equipping it with all of the necessary facilities. We are planning to build a 100-floor production line in the factory because we want it to be capable of mass producing goods to be exported overseas,” he said.
Ang also plans to get the factory certified under both Brunei’s Syariah and the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) standards, which will enhance its product credibility once exported overseas.
The upcoming factory which is to be built straight from ground zero will adapt the vertically integrated production line; which means all products are built straight out of the factory without commissioning any processing stages to separate companies, which might come from abroad.
“That is why we need to input large amount of monies into this. While the USD 30 million to USD 50 million are allocated to construction and facilities, we would also need to put in a certain amount as a working capital, which we will know once our directions are confirmed,” he said.
“As this is considered a large project, we will definitely need to collaborate with the locals and relevant agencies to facilitate this.
“We have plans to hire locals for supervisory jobs and above as we want this factory to be highly operated by Bruneians – but of course we will also need to hire two to three Japanese expatriates for factory management and knowledge transfers,” he added.
Since all processes are expected to be made within the factory, Ang said that he may need to also invest largely on the logistics to gather necessary raw materials – so he could meet any demanded supplies once his factory started operation.
Ang reiterated his reasons for choosing Brunei as the destination for his factory – its peace and safety which is also amplified with the introduction of the Syariah law. Besides that, it was also because Brunei is renowned to have stringent quality control for its Halal foods.
He also stressed that his firm plans to stay in Brunei for long, adding that it was also the reason why his firm is committed to help Brunei strengthen its exporting capabilities.
A portion of the produce will be given for the domestic market at a ‘highly subsidised’ price, Ang said, which may also help Brunei boost certain fields of its economy.
“Currently, even as you walk by the markets it is somehow difficult to get ‘made in Brunei’ products as most of them are imported,” he said.
“That is what we want to try to change. With the factory, the world will come to Brunei – various businessmen will want to open up their branches here, as we will also be bringing our networks to service our needs,” he added.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN