Great opportunity in Brunei ICT
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LOCAL info-communications technology (ICT) companies need to capitalise on Brunei’s network readiness as a powerful business tool, urged the Minister of Communications yesterday.
The potential for commercial and retail opportunities online are infinite – a reality local industry players can leverage on and develop further, said Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a Canadian ICT mission forum in Gadong, the minister also said enhanced retail opportunities and personalised customer experiences is a “profitable product of digitisation”.
He cited American electronic commerce company, Amazon.com, grew its annual sales to US$48 million ($61.36 million), which led to Borders bookstore losing its market share and filing for bankruptcy.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah noted that Brunei has been able to “address the readiness” of its users.
“Our NRI (Network Readiness Indes) rankings justify this and I urge our local ICT companies to capitalise on this readiness now,” he said, explaining how the availability of things online when coupled with the readiness of users can become a powerful tool.
The minister added the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) as the regulator and developer of Brunei’s ICT industry, has embarked on several initiatives to identify areas of improvement like the two-phase NRI Study initiated in 2010.
Brunei improved its global NRI ranking to 57th out of 144 economies from its previous 63rd position in 2010 and 2011.
“The main improvements are a result of individual and government usage,” said Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah.
A group of five Canadian companies led by Brian Roberts, Vice President of International Business Development at Wavefront, met with local firms at the forum yesterday to discuss future business prospects.
The forum also shared Canadian companies’ ICT capabilities and information on the ICT industry in Canada, while setting up networking opportunities between local ICT firms and telco operators.
The stopover in Brunei was the last portion of the trade group’s Southeast Asian trip, said Roberts.
“It’s a great opportunity to come here and look for partnership opportunities for local companies as a majority of these Canadian companies will always partner up with someone local to sell to the end consumer (in the local market),” he said.
“I think Brunei is a fantastic market from a geographical positioning point of view, which really helps if they (Canadian companies) are to set up here. Although the population is not huge, it has a great industrial sector.
“As a lot of our solution companies are consumer-based, with some being industrial-based, there is a great opportunity for partnership.”
The forum was organised by the Canadian High Commission in Brunei in collaboration with AITI to introduce Canada’s ICT industry specifically in the area of telecommunications networks.
The Brunei Times