Chinese firm launches aquaculture pens off Brunei
A Chinese fishery firm has commissioned 23 offshore pens off the coast of Brunei in the first phase of an aquaculture investment – another clear signal Chinese aquaculture firms are offshoring production.
The Hai Shi Tong Fishery Co. intends to install 133 cages in a 2,000-hectare fishery zone off the coast of the island nation, which is also a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN has a free trade pact with China.
Based in southerly Guangxi province, Hai Shi Tong – which has traditionally focused on pomfret and shrimp – will export its production from Brunei to China, but also to the U.S. and European markets, according to company CEO Wei Cheng Yu. The company has been benefitting from China’s Belt & Road Initiative in terms of favorable policies for investment and diplomatic assistance, according to Wei. He’s hoping to establish a ‘Guangxi Brunei Economic Corridor’ – such models have become fashionable among China’s regional governments, modelled on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Hai Shi Tong registered profits of CNY 2.9 million (USD 408,629, EUR 370,821) on revenues of CNY 77.4 million (USD 10.9 million, EUR 9.8 million) in 2016, the last accounts filed before the firm was taken over by the Tong Hua Shun group.
Brunei ships oil to China and shares waters of the South China Sea, much of which is claimed by China in a dispute with several ASEAN members, including Brunei. But as the country’s oil runs out, Brunei has sought to diversify its economy, welcoming Chinese investment in infrastructure and a USD 4 billion (EUR 3.6 billion) refinery currently under construction.
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