Commerce chambers eye MoU with Vietnam

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and the Brunei Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) are looking to sign an agreement with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to establish collaboration in five areas that will create economic opportunities for small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

In an interview, Fauziah DSP Hj Talib, BMCCI assistant secretary of trade, said that the chamber has identified the areas of ecotourism, agriculture, halal processing, education and youth development and entrepreneurship as having room for immediate cooperation.

“The memorandum of understanding with the VCCI is broad in nature. At the moment, we are still following up with VCCI,” she said, adding that such an agreement will also pave the way for increased SME activity in the two countries.

The BMCCI is also under the NCCI.

Fauziah said that the areas targeted for cooperation were decided on following consultation with the associations in Brunei including the Women’s Council of Brunei (WBC) and the youth entrepreneurs groups.

In the area of ecotourism, Fauziah said that the Brunei business chambers want to learn on how Vietnam has been able to promote their local attractions.

“The Vietnamese are quite experienced in promoting their local attractions and raising it up to international standards so we want to learn from them,” she said.

As for agriculture, Nur Judy Abdullah, NCCI Secretary for Welfare, said that Vietnam has been successful in growing their agricultural sector and can share knowledge with Bruneian SMEs that are in the agricultural business.

In the halal processing sector, Fauziah noted on potential opportunities involving Bruneian companies providing support services for Vietnamese products to be certified halal by the religious authorities.

Similarly, this can happen in the area of education especially in English language where Brunei has strong competency in.

“We do want Vietnam to be more interested in Brunei in a way that it can benefit the SMEs so we need to make sure that foreign investments from Vietnam trickles down the local SMEs,” she said.

For youth development and entrepreneurship, Fauziah said that the chambers want to look into the various ways to grow interest in technology and entrepreneurship amongst youth.

“Vietnam has a large number of youth that are involved in the tech industry so we want to look on how they managed to develop that.”

Siti Kaprawi, BMCCI assistant secretary of information, said that it is important to have the youth involved in business ventures as part of their development.

“We’re seeing that the youth are starting their own businesses. We’re working with some of them to provide mentorship and guidance,” she said.

Fauziah said that the Brunei business chambers want to see if it can tap into the regional funding programmes for youth development in the region.

Members of the VCCI, including its chairman Vu Tien Loc, were part of the Vietnamese delegation which visited Brunei. The three-day visit was led by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang who was also accompanied by other senior Vietnamese government officials.

The Brunei Times