ABAC members meet to discuss programmes

|     Danial Norjidi     |

MEMBERS of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), including members of ABAC Brunei, are attending the third ABAC meeting for 2019 taking place in Hangzhou, China which will end on July 25.

The ABAC Brunei members attending the meeting are Legislative Council member and Chairperson for the ABAC MSME and Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG) Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii and Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network at Baiduri Bank Berhad Pengiran Azaleen bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha.

Speaking to the Bulletin on what will be discussed at the meeting, Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi said, “ABAC 3 is the culminating point for coordinating the remaining work for the year by ABAC and we will complete the work towards the Report to ABAC Leaders. “

She shared that, at ABAC 3, members will take stock of the initiatives done under Chile’s leadership this year and work towards the roll out of these initiatives.

Among them are: MondeB2B; a study on blockchain and international trade within APEC; the SMEs Global Value Chain Network (SG Network); the ABAC Impact Fund; APEC Women Connect; Trade Rules for Women’s Economic Empowerment, and others.

On the significance of the meeting in the context of Brunei Darussalam, she said, “As a member of APEC, Brunei regardless of economic size has a place at the table with the other economies.

“Brunei’s participation at APEC has always been at high level and we have always been able to share our ideas with APEC members and assist in implementation or programmes and reports.

“The access to market is crucial and the learnings and best practices from the region is welcomed in our journey of economic diversification,” she affirmed.

“ABAC as the voice of business within APEC has its unique role because of the ability to convey practical initiatives and recommendations through its reports and the ability to stress and convey directly to leaders through its annual dialogue.”

“For Brunei, the level of participation although we are a small economy is where Brunei can learn and enhance our own efforts of economic diversification and striving for Vision 2035.

“It is about having access not just to markets, but to the experience of other ABAC members who lead a variety of industries and play important roles as sounding boards for their own communities,” she added.

Pengiran Azaleen also commented, saying, “This year Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi is chairing the MSME working group. This is very important as well as relevant to Brunei as most, if not all, businesses and corporates are in the MSME space.

“To share APEC economies experiences, initiatives and ideas to the local market via multiple platforms gives opportunities for the local businesses to explore a broader horizon,” he said.

In addition to the ABAC meetings, the members will also be participating in the APEC CEO Summit as well as field visit to Chinese companies Huawei and Alibaba.

Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi will also be speaking on a luncheon panel on 5G, the digital economy and its impact potential to SMEs.