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Cablegate: Brunei Working On Ipr Enforcement, Airport Security

VZCZCXRO1492
PP RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHBD #0158 1440429
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230429Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4242
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000158

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KIPR EAIR CVIS ETRD EWWT BX
SUBJECT: BRUNEI WORKING ON IPR ENFORCEMENT, AIRPORT SECURITY


1. (SBU) Ambassador paid a farewell call on Minister of
Communications Pehin Abu Bakar on May 19. The Ambassador
thanked Abu Bakar for his Ministry's support for the
USG-sponsored seminar on the protection of intellectual
property rights scheduled to take place in early June, and
stressed our continuing concern about poor IPR protection in
Brunei.

2. (SBU) The Minister acknowledged the scope of the
problem, noting that a recent study had estimated that 67
percent of the software being used in Brunei was counterfeit.
He recognized that better IPR protection was an essential
prerequisite for fostering the growth of Brunei's information
technology industry and attracting foreign investors, and
said the Ministry was working with industry on an information
campaign aimed at government agencies which would be launched
soon. Part of the problem was Brunei's low enforcement
capacity, which he was trying to redress through training
offered by Brunei's partners, primarily Singapore and
Malaysia.

3. (SBU) Noting the Ministry's responsibility for
transportation issues, Ambassador advised Abu Bakar that a
high level of airport security would be one of the
requirements for Brunei's continued participation in the Visa
Waiver Program. The Minister said that ICAO officials
carried out a detailed assessment of Brunei International
Airport in November 2007 and February 2008, and made several
recommendations. His Ministry was currently preparing
responses to be submitted over ICAO's web-based compliance
system, the use of which would ensure transparency about
Brunei's actions on airport security. He added that one
motivation for Brunei's plan to expand its current airport
was that it would be easier to come into full compliance with
ICAO recommendations though expansion rather than renovation
of the existing physical infrastructure.

4. (SBU) The Minister said Brunei recognized it could not
compete with large regional transport hubs such as Singapore,
but did aim at becoming a feeder hub for the BIMP-EAGA
(Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth
Area). It hoped to attract regional air traffic, planned to
open a new passenger ferry terminal, and had been successful
in raising the number of cruise ships visiting its port from
six in 2007 to a scheduled twenty in 2008. Turning the
container port into a sub-regional hub was more of a
challenge due to the lack of significant export industries
beyond oil and gas. Too many containers came in full but
left empty, raising costs for shippers and making the port
less attractive. Pehin Abu Bakar hoped that more vigorous
promotion of Brunei's free trade zone as a site for export
production could overcome this problem. He acknowledged
Ambassador's observation that any manufacturing jobs so
created would probably be filled by foreign labor, but said
that the economic benefits resulting from greater use of the
port would still make the effort worthwhile.
FRIEDMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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