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Clear, steady connections between Japan and GHK Brunei

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

A retailer of premium automobiles in Brunei, GHK Motors is the exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi and Daihatsu vehicles in the country. Since its inception, the company has boasted a connection to Japan.


GHK Motors Founder Pehin Dato Goh King Chin. Credit: GHK Motors

After working for the government as a customs officer from 1964 to 1970, Pehin Dato Goh King Chin founded GHK Motors, which sold used cars for the first three years.

Early success encouraged him to sell new models, and GHK obtained a franchise from Daihatsu Motor Co. to sell its cars and light trucks in 1974.

As sales grew sharply, GHK focused on customer and aftersales service by sending mechanics and engineers to Japan to learn the latest advances and techniques in car repair and service. Along the way, it readily adopted the latest technologies.

In 1979, GHK Motors achieved another milestone when Mitsubishi Motors Corp. awarded the homegrown dealership sole distributorship of the Mitsubishi cars and trucks. As GHK brought in these vehicles, it nurtured a preference for Japanese brands and increased market share for these giant automakers.

Aside from Mitsubishi and Daihatsu, GHK Motors also distributes Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep and Perodua models.

Mitsubishi strengthens its bonds in Brunei

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. has been operating in resource-rich Brunei for more than 40 years, working with the country in growing not only its oil and gas industry, but also its agriculture, education and tourism sectors.

Recently, Mitsubishi began collaborating with the government to develop its biotechnology and life sciences industry, tapping the country’s abundant resources such as water and sunlight. It hopes that its biotech investment, the first in Brunei, will stimulate the growth of this new industry.

Mitsubishi Corp. recently ventured into biotechnology in Brunei. Credit: Mitsubishi

The historical relationship between the government and Mitsubishi has generated new fields of cooperation. Involved heavily in the oil and gas industry, the company also expanded its involvement in the renewable energy sector through the donation of a solar energy plant.

“We want to work together with Brunei because it was with the government’s support that has given us an opportunity to build a successful energy business,” said Brunei Liaison Office General Manager Yuki Kaneda.

Mitsubishi invested in the renewable energy sector because it wanted to improve the quality of life of Brunei’s people and have a positive impact on the country. Through its various investments, the company believes it facilitates more opportunities for foreign investment and allows small and medium-size enterprises to flourish in this market.

“In the past, the best minds usually chose to invest in oil and gas, but they now look for opportunities in other industries. There is a big opportunity for other businesses to set up as new industries in Brunei,” stressed Kaneda.

Enjoying the government’s clear support, Mitsubishi is committed to remain in the country long term and has expressed its readiness to collaborate with anybody wishing to build a business in this young market.

Brunei’s premier university strengthens links with Japanese universities

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Founded in 1985, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), has forged strong partnerships with some of Japan’s leading universities such as Kagawa University, Soka University, Kyoto University, Yamagata University, Tsukuba University, Akita University and Tenri University.

These partnerships range from research collaborations in Asian and energy studies, agriculture and peat swamp research, to medical training and student exchange programs.

Universiti Brunei Darussalam focuses on educating the country’s next generation of globally-minded students. Credit: UBD

In each of its partnerships, UBD provides expertise in its niche research on Energy Studies, Islamic and Asian Studies, and Biodiversity Studies. Brunei’s oldest and largest university is an ideal research hub for these areas and offers a well-rounded and culturally rich environment for incoming students.

For two years in a row since 2015, UBD has been ranked No. 1 in student mobility in Asia in the QS Asia University Rankings. It also regularly hosts Japanese exchange students and sends Bruneian students to Japanese universities as part of its mandatory Discovery Year Program.

The Discovery Year Program is part of UBD’s broad-based, multidisciplinary GenNEXT curriculum, which encourages students to explore the world outside Brunei and encourages them to examine alternative pathways to learning through international programs, business incubation andentrepreneurship projects, internships andcommunity outreach endeavors, among others.

The flexibility of the multidisciplinary approach allows students from different faculties to work closely together and capitalize on each other’s strengths to conduct internationally recognizable ventures.

Named last year as one of Asia’s fastest- rising universities by the QS Asia University Rankings, UBD stresses its ethos of entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and environmental awareness in creating a holistic, diverse and dynamic atmosphere conducive to maximizing learning in this highly globalized world.

It is also determined to increase its international partnerships, especially with Japanese universities, through more student exchanges, research collaborations and industry internships.

Universiti Teknologi Brunei aims high

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Previously known as Institut Teknologi Brunei, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) has undergone a number of major changes in recent years. Aside from its new logo and redesigned website, the university’s new name reflects the biggest change — going from a technical institute to a full-fledged, engineering and technology university offering college and post-graduate degrees.

The largest engineering university in Brunei, UTB is the only educational institution that provides comprehensive engineering modules. Gaining its standing as a university has

Graduates of Universiti Teknologi Brunei contribute to nation building. Credit: UTB

increased public interest and boosted the morale of its staff and students.

The change in status has also allowed UTB to create platforms to assist the country’s economy and provide students with a more comprehensive education. This objective coincides with the government’s efforts to improve the country’s talent pool, support young entrepreneurs and attract more foreign direct investment.

In addition, international industry experts are also invited to provide hands-on experiences to the students.

“We want to provide a more holistic education and form well rounded individuals with social and economic responsibilities. This makes the students more independent,” explained Vice Chancellor and associate professor Zohrah Sulaiman.

As the university is focused on gaining wider international recognition, UTB is strengthening the caliber of its faculty by employing professors from internationally recognized universities around the world. These partnerships with international universities will also provide students with more international contact.

“The university’s international awareness is still relatively low. We have to be more aggressive after being renamed a university,” Zohrah said.

To foster collaborative linkages within Brunei Darussalam and the ASEAN region, UTB will be hosting the Crown Prince CIPTA Award 2017. Under the theme of “Innovation for Sustainable Economy,” the competition serves as a platform for innovators to launch their creative ideas. It is open to all schools, government and private organizations and the general public.

Brunei 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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