Brunei looks to neighbours for SME models

National 1 minute, 37 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

BRUNEI is set to emulate best practices of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Asean region to gain headway in helping its own to flourish, a senior government official said yesterday.

As host country for the 21st Meeting of the Asean Small and Medium Enterprise Agencies Working Group Meeting, Brunei Darussalam has witnessed intense discussion sessions between Asean and dialogue partners China, Japan and South Korea to further enhance SME development in the region.

Participants briefed each other on SME support and development in their respective countries and shared valuable experience in the sector.

Asut Kadai, special duties officer at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), said in a press conference that it is important to refer to neighbouring countries for best practices in SME development. These can then be altered to suit the local market environment, he added.

"We learn a lot from countries like Malaysia, especially Singapore (that) are very advanced in SME development. It's something Brunei can emulate but have to adjust," he said.

In terms of its expertise at handling SMEs, Brunei "is still at a learning stage" and it will continue to consult overseas experts, he said.

Brunei SMEs still face sustainability issues, Asut Kadai said, adding that they must learn to be more creative in management and adjust to local needs.

"The emphasis to our SMEs is how to sustain their businesses."

The ministry has specific programmes to support SME development in areas such as entrepreneurship development, financial assistance scheme, information support, business incubators, trade promotion, the Brunei Halal brand, certification, consultation and auditing, outsourcing and institutional linkages.

Moreover, the 15th Working Group Meeting for Committee of Economy and Industrial Cooperation Responsible for SMEs will be held today (23 November) at the Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong.

The MIPR official said feedback received from international delegates was a generally positive one. He said: "They really appreciate the hospitality of Brunei being the host country."

The Brunei Times