Take responsibility for Brunei’s economic growth, youth told

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BUSINESSES yesterday challenged the younger generation to take responsibility for Brunei’s economic growth.

Speaking on the sidelines of the National Day celebrations in the capital, senior members of established companies in Brunei said there will be opportunities in the coming years for development in Brunei but it is up to the younger generation to take advantage of those opportunities.

George Wong, competence adviser at Brunei LNG, said there is a need to cultivate young people to develop a sense of responsibility and urgency to sustain the development of the country.

“The leaders from 1984 (when Brunei gained independence) have now all retired or are no longer with us, thus Brunei must depend on the younger generation to lead our country into the future and find a way to support not just themselves but also the country as a whole.

“So unless the younger generation takes responsibility for the future of the nation, Brunei will be facing a dim future,” he added.

Wong, who has been with BLNG for over 30 years, said the government is playing its part in expending enough effort to continue the economic development of the nation but the private sector and the younger generation must also play their role.

“As stated in His Majesty’s titah, the young people must build their skills, knowledge and expertise in every field to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them, without which there will not be progress,” he said.

“Now we are still relatively reliant on foreign technical expertise and labour to carry out the business ventures but if Bruneians have the same level of skills and expertise as the expatriates, we will be able to go on our own and progress,” he continued.

Devin Edwards, chief marketing officer of Progresif Cellular, said Brunei must first take its current economic position seriously before being able to take advantage of future opportunities for growth.

“Whether dependency on oil is the ultimate concern or not, you need to be able to grow and develop as a nation regardless, and both businesses and individuals must take those concerns seriously and do their part in supporting all other businesses and entrepreuners in their development.

“I think there will be robust opportunities for growth in the next five years and we are seeing people become more proactive in taking advantages of the opportunities whether it is more entrepreneurs starting businesses or students becoming more diligent in their studies,” he added.

Hj Minorhadi Mirhassan, head of Government Relations and Special Projects Division at Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), observed that a lot of work has been done in the economy and that it is important to keep that momentum going to spur growth among local businesses.

“There are a lot of positives at the moment from what the government is doing or trying to do so there is also a lot of momentum going forward and we are encouraged in the roles that banks can play in developing the country in the coming years,” he said.

The Brunei Times