BEDB aims to create core group of business giants

National 2 minutes, 16 seconds


THE Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) hopes to build a core group of promising local enterprises that can collectively contribute cumulative revenue of $1 billion in five to 10 years to spur economic growth, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said yesterday.

The companies, through a programme, will be trained to ensure they have the right foundation and are practicing “proper” corporate governance, Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said yesterday.

“The BEDB will work with the companies so that they can be strengthened in key aspects such as management team, human resources, products and services, operations and financial sustainability while adopting set strategic growth plans,” he said in a speech at a roundtable discussion organised by the Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The session was held ahead of this month’s launch of OBG’s annual publication, The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2014. The publication will be launched late this month.

Dato Paduka Hj Ali said BEDB is aiming to help local companies to be “investment ready”. This will allow them to secure funds they need to expand within the next five to 10 years.

He did not state how BEDB will choose the companies that will form the core group.

The BEDB hopes that the programme will create more Bruneian multinationals and publicly-listed companies, he said.

He added BEDB has been offering various initiatives to develop innovation and entrepreneurship and encourage more youths to participate in the Sultanate’s economic diversification efforts.

These initiatives include extending grants to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Dato Paduka Hj Ali said the capacity building programmes at the iCentre and Entrepreneurship@Campus have been preparing and equipping innovative startups with scalable business models to venture overseas.

“I urge young entrepreneurs to step out of their comfort zones, to take advantage of market opportunities and work hard to achieve their dreams as well as in contributing the nation’s future,” he said.

Dato Paduka Hj Ali said BEDB is readily available to assist local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups.

“The role of the private sector and local businesses are simply to be brave and take up the opportunities readily available in order to help boost Brunei’s economy. The ball is in your court.

“What can you do for Brunei?” he said.

He encouraged local SMEs and startups to observe proper governance and prioritise diligent financial reporting, well-designed resource-management processes and productive management structures.

These, he said, are key composites of growth and success in the global market.

“I also encourage local SMEs and startups to strategise your businesses towards a global outlook in order to contribute to reducing local unemployment, boosting our exports and growing our gross domestic product,” said the deputy minister.

The Brunei Times