ABAC Brunei projects to bring ‘tangible business development’

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei is seeking to bring tangible business development benefits through a number of upcoming projects.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, ABAC Brunei members Hafimi Abdul Haadii and Soon Loo shared a number of initiatives through the ABAC platform which are hoped to benefit Bruneians in terms of economic development and human capital building.

The first programme will be the APEC Youth Connect, which was born out of an initiative called Earn, Learn and Return, a programme designed to better facilitate the movement of workers in the APEC region.

According to Hafimi, the programme will be launced this month with a realistic pilot programme beginning in Malaysia.

The programme aims to place unemployed or fresh graduates into paid internships across companies, first in Malaysia then eventually throughout the whole of APEC.

ABAC Brunei is currently facilitating this by sending off CVs of local graduates through recommendations and other criteria from local institutions.

The candidates will have a chance to vie for a internship position within an industry. Hafimi said there will be an interview process by the company or organisation so that they are able to find the right fit and match for the paid internship position.

If they are able to get the position and they do well, Hafimi said that hopefully they will get a further opportunity with the company itself to stay on and learn more skills.

She said they hope that they will be able to bring back these skills and employ them in Brunei, through specialised jobs or even running their own business.

Meanwhile, Soon Loo said that this programme will give graduates a chance to learn skills in large industries outside of Brunei.

“They will also be able to have the opportunity to learn what are the business requirements of the various economies in the region as well as best practices and knowledge that are available out there,” he said.

At the moment, he said that Brunei is bringing on foreign direct investments. He noted that by the time these opportunities mature within the next five years or so, the graduates would have those experiences from overseas and they can be ready to take up roles in Brunei.

Soon Loo also shared that one other initiative that Brunei will be participating in is to join a network of incubators and accelerators around the world, through the ABAC platform.

This network would help local businesses and incubator/accelerator programmes to understand what is being done on other countries, so they can do business exchanges, get support and ideas.

“The idea is to connect all of these innovation and incubation centres through a mapping project so that projects can be cross-coordinated and perhaps even incubators be moved back and forth.”

Soon said that what they would also like to do is to discuss the possibility of Brunei of becoming one of the first economies involved in a Pan-ASEAN e-commerce platform

While that is still in its very early stages, he said that this is something they hope to do in collaboration with a larger company that is looking to expand into the region.

The Brunei Times