Crown Prince launches book
By James Kon

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday consented to officiate the launch of "The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2007", a book that provides comprehensive overviews and analysis of Brunei's political and macroeconomic environment.

Upon arrival at The Empire Hotel and Country Club, where the ceremony took place, His Royal Highness was welcomed by Pengiran Dato Paduka Ismail bin Pengiran Haji Mohamed, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Michael Benson-Colpi, Oxford Business Group chairman as well as officials from the Prime's Minister Office and Oxford Business Group.

Pengiran Dato Paduka Ismail in his welcoming remarks said, "The Prime Minister's Office has forged a partnership with the Oxford Business Group (OBG) of London for the publication of The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2007, which is targeted at potential foreign investors.

"The publication is another example of Brunei Darussalam's continuous effort in providing reliable information about the country. This particular exercise is not only targeted for the local market, but more importantly is aimed at the region and the world at large.

"It is a very significant programme to support the nation's continuous efforts and drive for economic diversification and attracting more investors as well as tourists to this country of peace and prosperity," he said.

The Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office also said, "The Report will also offer a platform to expand Brunei Darussalam's Global network community in economic growth and development. It will also provide a golden opportunity for the local business to extend their network to the rest of the world."

Meanwhile Mr Michael Benson-Colpi, the Oxford Business Group chairman, in his welcoming address said, "The book's most important role is to alert people to opportunity by providing accessible economic, political and business intelligence. OBG also offers a vital in-depth understanding of the country and societies behind it."

He said that an arrangement has also been made for the engine room of Brunei's development outreach to the world - the planners, researchers, policy drafters and academics - to have access online to all Oxford Business Group's series of country reports to facilitate their understanding of countries elsewhere, to see more clearly the Bruneian competitive advantage, and to help them exploit even more adroitly in the months and years to come.

After the launching ceremony, His Royal Highness received a pesembah from Mr Michael Benson-Colpi.

Mr Andrews Jeffreys, Senior Consultant of Oxford Business Group, also delivered a brief presentation on the conclusion from the analysis of the book.

A total of 67,000 copies of The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2007 will be distributed worldwide while 15,000 copies will be circulated within the country. The Report will be published annually, rewritten completely each year to keep pace with the development of Brunei Darussalam.

Brunei Darussalam is the fifth country in the region to be selected for the coverage of the prestigious - Borneo Bulletin (15th Nov 2007)