Be more adaptable and innovative, MSMEs told

Azlan Othman

The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have emphasised the need for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become more adaptable and innovative in their product development and sales while embracing technology where possible, as the new norm.

This was stated by Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani at the opening of the 1st Bruneian Made Mini Showcase at The Airport Mall in Berakas yesterday.

Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina, who is also DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) Board member, said after seeing the potential of bringing local products to reach a wider market base, locally and internationally, she called on more local MSMEs to penetrate the export market and become import substitutes.

DARe held its first series of showcase for Bruneian Made, formerly branded as Made in Brunei, yesterday. It is a key initiative that aims to facilitate MSMEs with commercially marketable products to enter the local market through high-traffic retail spaces.

Meanwhile, DARe CEO Javed Ahmad applauded the courage and determination of local MSMEs in going through the challenges amidst COVID-19, and urged them to stay ambitious, committed and focussed in their business journey by taking advantage of the increased opportunities in the local market.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani speaks at the 1st Bruneian Made Mini Showcase. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic situation restricting our travels, we are already seeing a significant impact to our local business environment where our people are now spending locally for their daily needs. This provides the opportunity for our businesses to pivot their products and services to gain a larger local market share,” he said.

The event, held for three days until December 6, is participated by 20 MSMEs. It serves as a platform to further promote various range of MSME products under the Bruneian Made initiative, while raising greater awareness of the initiative.

The event also saw the launch of re-branded Unexpected Treasures, now known as Bruneian Made Finest, an online platform that promotes and sells medium to high-end products of Brunei.

The showcase is held under the flagship initiative of the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism – the Brunei December Festival.

Some participants include Centre for Islamic Arts Studies and Calligraphy Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Mahkota Crystal Sdn Bhd, Koleksi Husnaa, SS Mumtaz Collections Enterprise, Al Hayaah Enterprise, Avensys Solutions, Iman Putera Enterprise, BruHouse Sdn Bhd, Volco Venture Company, Aisy Berjaya Company, Koperasi Samakaya, JE Restaurant (Noice), Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd, Sabli Food Industries (B) Sdn Bhd, Rumah Gelato Frozen Treats Sdn Bhd, Taurean Bakeshop, Sapphira Cake House, Ukhuwwah Venture, As Salwaa Beauty and Rizqussalam.

Since its launch in 2017, the Bruneian Made initiative has recorded an increased participation by local businesses – from 10 MSMEs with 29 products to 28 MSMEs with more than 130 products. These products are available at 11 major supermarkets under the Bruneian Made Supermarket Shelf initiative, two retail shops, three hotels and one shopping complex for the Bruneian Made Finest products.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii and DARe Board members as well as Bruneian Made partners were present.