Creation of SME bank proposed

, National 1 minute, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday proposed establishing a small and medium enterprise (SME) bank.

“The way we look at this is that we will get an SME bank up and running with venture capital. We are in the early stages of discussion with some of the local banks and they have already pledged their commitment to support venture capital for SMEs,” the minister said.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar said other countries have an SME bank, and the government is now looking at the possibility of having one here.

He said supporting entrepreneurship is the fastest way to spur economic growth and diversification, and that SMEs play a major role in job creation and fostering a dynamic private sector.

“The easiest form of economic growth is entrepreneurship, innovation and the digital economy, and that is the direction we must go,” he said.

“We must create an economic system that focuses on local business development, and make that process transparent and easy… We need to focus on developing SMEs locally before we can go overseas,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin added.

The minister said that he had met many talented entrepreneurs in Brunei and it would be a shame not to help them get a head start.

“We must make the process of applying for a loan easy. We have businesspeople who are expecting to apply for a loan without even having a business plan.”

“This is why we have DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), they will build the capacity for them and work with them right from the conception of the business idea,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said.

The minister said the members of DARe are all experienced people in their respective fields, and can help SMEs start and grow.

The Brunei Times