Several initiatives to assist business development

Rokiah Mahmud

With regard to the second focus of the proposed Financial Year 2020/2021 budget, which is to facilitate ease of doing business, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has implemented initiatives to speed up the process for business start-ups.

This include the registrations of company that can be made within one-day and the establishment of Brunei Darussalam National Single Window (BDNSW) system as the country’s commitment towards ASEAN Single Window implementation.

As one of government initiatives to connect the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) entrepreneurs with business owners, professional and academics from various industries and expertise, DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) has launched the Brunei Mentors for Entrepreneurship Network.

DARe has actively conducted boot camp programmes which helped launch 48 start-ups with 191 jobs. DARe has also assisted 231 traders to market their products to the domestic market through MSMEs, Brunei Made and the Unexpected Treasures festivals with sales revenue amounting to over BND527,000, the minister said.

Several programmes have also been introduced including the i-Usahawan programme under the Ministry of Energy that provide opportunities for local youth entrepreneurs to obtain contracts from the government, government linked companies and Statutory Body to further developing their skills.

A total of 12 contracts out of 61 have been awarded with a value of BND16 million. Some 171 local workers were employed with DARe on the multi-disciplinary-based project with Industrial Revolution 4.0 perspective through the Entrepreneurship Village programme of the UBD, the minister added.

Local banks also played a crucial role in further developing the MSMEs in the country. Up to February 29, the Bank Usahawan has provided a total of BND12.2 million loan to 192 MSMEs entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Meanwhile, the volume of corporate loans under different banks in the country for 2019 is BND2.8 billion compared to BND2.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent from year to year.