Minister calls for more pro-business suggestions

National 2 minutes, 2 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

LEGISLATIVE Council (LegCo) members were urged to put forth strategic ideas that will substantially improve the country’s economy amid falling oil prices.

Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerma Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong said the country’s economy in the 2016/2017 financial year will be much more challenging due to plummeting oil prices.

“It is important for LegCo members to put forth recommendations and ideas that will decrease the country’s dependence on the oil and gas industry and ways in which the country can increase its revenue,” he said during his vote of thanks at the 12th LegCo session yesterday.

The minister also called for a sense of urgency in strengthening cost-effectiveness, improvements in the administration of the government as well as businesses to ensure efficiency in ease of doing business.

Meanwhile, LegCo member YB Hj Ramli Hj Lahit said all matters related to the ease of doing business should be expedited, especially promoting the growth of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said a number of the regulations in conducting businesses are rigid and too difficult for SMEs with a small capital to achieve.

“Of course, these SMEs should not ignore the regulations that are related to health and safety.

“However, if the regulations involve a large sum of money, it will cause potential entrepreneurs to withdraw from starting a business,” added YB Hj Ramli.

The LegCo member went on to say that business experts should be invited often to expand the knowledge of local entrepreneurs and residents of villages and mukims in producing a large variety of products.

These products, he said, can be displayed in exhibitions within and outside of the country, thereby attracting potential foreign investors to invest in the country’s products.

In her vote of thanks, YB Datin Paduka Hjh Zasia Sirin proposed more research in selecting foreign direct investments (FDIs).

She said aside from contributing to the local economy, potential FDIs should also ensure they will prioritise local workforce who are skilled in their respective sectors.

YB Datin Paduka Hjh Zasia added that the type of investors should also be taken into consideration to ensure these potential investors can complement the revenue of the country’s oil and gas industry.

“Proper measures will ensure caution in the selection of FDIs which may prevent any major losses in the country’s investments,” she added.

The Brunei Times