MoUs boost Brunei’s e-commerce sector

|   Danial Norjidi   |

THREE Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed by e-commerce marketplace MondeB2B with the Brunei Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DPPMB), Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB) and logistics company JayaPuri Sdn Bhd (UPS) yesterday.

MondeB2B, in partnership with local company Suhbe.co, is an e-commerce marketplace that offers Brunei a system to increase exports to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries.

It was shared that, by validating every company that joins, the secured business to business (B2B) marketplace safely connects exporters, importers and business partners from around the world.

The MoUs were signed during a ceremony at the Design & Technology Building in Anggerek Desa. On hand to sign the three MoUs for MondeB2B was Chief Operating Officer Juan Sebastian Olea, while Suhbe.co was represented by President and Co-founder Pengiran Sarimah binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff.

The first MoU was signed with DPPMB. Signing for DPPMB was Legislative Council (LegCo) member and DPPMB President Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid @ Sabli bin Haji Arshad, with DPPMB Secretary-General Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Sirat as witness.

For the second MoU, signing for YEAB was its President Nurliyana Fatin binti Arifin, with YEAB Vice President Kaewan Tan as witness.

Signing the third MoU for Jayapuri Sdn Bhd was its Director Pavitra Kaur, with Baldeep Singh Bhullar as witness.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan was the guest of honour.

LegCo member, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei member and Chairperson for the ABAC MSME and Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG) Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii was also present.

MondeB2B Chief Operating Officer Juan Sebastian Olea. – PHOTOS: DANIAL NORJIDI
Legislative Council members Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid @ Sabli bin Haji Arshad, Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii and Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan with representatives from MondeB2B, Suhbe.co, DPPMB YEAB and UPS in a group photo

According to a press release, the MoUs with the DPPMB and YEAB are aimed at promoting and supporting the export of local small and medium enterprise (SME) products and services through the associations.

Speaking on the MoUs with YEAB and DPPMB during an interview, Olea explained, “We’re going to work together with their members to have more information on e-commerce, more information on international trade and help them with marketing.

“It starts as simple as with us having training programmes, training classes for them. It also gives them a special discount. For being a member of one of these associations they get a special price. We’ve also offered other ways for them to continue to help their members – so the training programme and also online classes.”

Meanwhile, the MoU with JayaPuri will provide benefits in the form of discounted logistic services for the members on the MondeB2B platform.

In a presentation during the ceremony, Olea explained what exporters, importers and business partners can do through the MondeB2B Marketplace.

It was shared that exporters can upload products and services, launch special promotions, and that importers can discover products and services worldwide, while business partners can offer their services to exporters and importers. The marketplace also allows exporters, importers and business partners to communicate via an Online Chat.

In addition, companies can negotiate instantly. Exporters can receive payments and manage shipment information, while importers can send payments and receive shipment information.

The presentation highlighted that what makes MondeB2B Marketplace unique is that every company must be validated locally in each country.

“How we build trust is, in every country that we go to, the first thing that we do is work with a validating organisation,” said Olea. “So with Brunei it’s DARe (Darussalam Enterprise). In Indonesia it’s Kamar Dagang dan Industri Indonesia (KADIN), in Malaysia it’s the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and in Philippines it’s the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).”

It was shared that DARe will collaborate with MondeB2B to connect all exporters, importers and business partners from Brunei, while ensuring trust inside the Marketplace.

Meanwhile, President and Co-founder of Suhbe.co Pengiran Sarimah in a speech highlighted that Suhbe.co and MondeB2B “envisage to empower all Bruneian SMEs to grow and expand beyond this subregion, ASEAN, and the Asia-Pacific region”.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the MEMI also gave remarks at the event, in which he congratulated those involved in the event.

“This is a significant milestone, especially for the development of our local MSMEs,” he said.

“Secondly, this is one very good example of what we can call a whole of nation approach,” continued the permanent secretary, highlighting that developing the nation, local SMES and boosting the economy is everyone’s responsibility. “This is a very solid, good example of what the private sector is doing.

“On the government’s side, we will continue to be committed to make the business ecosystem, the business environment, as conducive as possible,” added the permanent secretary, noting that Brunei ranked 55th for ease of doing business in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019.

The press release states that on June 25, MondeB2B will be having a pre-launch in Palawan, Philippines during the LiveX Summit 2019, and that in September, Philippines will hold a launching of MondeB2B for their MSMEs.

Additionally, in July, MondeB2B will make an announcement in China during the 3rd ABAC meeting of the year. The official launch of MondeB2B will be held during the APEC SME Summit on November 14.