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Brunei
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Brunei
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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    Brace for the new economy, says minister

    Rokiah Mahmud

    The acceleration of digitalisation, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the start of the green energy transition are some of the technologies that make up the new economy.

    “The new economy is designed to get us to adapt to the current and future challenges we face, such as climate change and an ageing global population,” Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said in his keynote speech during the Asia Asset Management 14th Annual Brunei Darussalam Roundtable.

    Themed ‘Moving Forward: Drivers of the New Economy,’ the event was held at The Empire Brunei.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew added that with climate change, the implications of a 1.5-Celsius rise in global temperatures may lead to more frequent natural disasters and will have a detrimental impact on food supply and infrastructure.

    “Ageing populations bring the risks of a global productivity decline as well as structural challenges for key sectors such as healthcare and pension funds. Some of the responses we have seen to these challenges took the form of technological disruption, which spurred the inception of several new economy industries such as smart agricultural technology, AI and renewable energy,” he said.

    Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah checks out a booth at the event. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI
    A section of the attendees at the event

    The minister added that the economic value is real, in agriculture, and that the use of drone technology allowed plantations to cut operational costs while being environmentally sustainable.

    “As drone technologies develop to act as mechanical pollinators and incorporate smart applications, the future promises an affordable technology to address the ever increasing challenge of growing food security.

    “Warehouse robotics is already changing the logistics industry and has proven to play vital roles in driving productivity and improving today’s global supply chains.

    “An analysis by Accenture, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, has shown that digital technologies, if scaled across industries could deliver up to 20 per cent of the 2050 reduction needed to hit the International Energy Agency’s net-zero trajectories in the energy, materials and mobility industries. Quick adoptions of digital technology alone can already reduce emissions by four to 10 per cent,” he said.

    “As policymakers and investors together in this room today, let us discuss the ways we can work hand-in-hand to foster a landscape that sustains the growth of the new economy by creating an environment where innovation can thrive. The challenges of rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and geo-political tensions have certainly brought about urgency to have in place rational and coherent strategies which can be implemented to provide quick wins and also achieve stability in the medium to longer term.

    “While the new economy has brought about new challenges, it will also present plenty of opportunities for us as investment professionals and society at large. These include more options for production globally, greater opportunities to create new markets, increased scalability for small firms to grow big quicker, and a more even playing field in terms of innovation – where the brightest ideas can come from anywhere in the world and are no longer dominated by developed economies,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said.

    “As new economies grow, we must keep our eyes open and be at the forefront of capturing the opportunities as they come, and wherever they come from. We need to identify those winners who can and will succeed and more importantly, provide the resources necessary for them to learn, experiment, and scale.

    “In addition, it will also require an alignment of strategic plans and thoughtful execution in shaping the workforce of tomorrow, today. And so, investments in human capital is key to promote high quality development of our pool of talents and match the level of competencies required to drive and support the emerging industries.

    “We should also aim to continuously engage with this community of experts and professionals to ensure we stay well-informed of new ideas and disciplines. Only then will we benefit from long-term sustainable growth of the new economy in the years to come,” the minister concluded.

    Asia Asset Management with the support of Brunei Institute of Leadership and Islamic Finance (BILIF) hosted the one-day event to gather speakers from diverse backgrounds to discuss and identify key drivers of the new economy, its implications and impacts on the finance sector, environment, trade as well as investments.

    The topics were also addressed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ways that markers and economies are currently emerging from this period as well as the outlook for 2023.

    Additionally, matters pertaining to issues concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability were highlighted, including its recent performance during the pandemic as well as its outlook at a time the world is grappling with a host of challenges related to climate change and the environment.

    The topics delivered included ‘Navigating the Changing Regulatory Landscape in the Current Environment;’ ‘Five Fixed Income Themes in 2023;’ ‘Sustainability of Pensions and Investments : A Health Check;’ and ‘The Protein Challenge for ASEAN: A Climate Friendly Agro Industry and Embracing Artificial Intelligence of Investments.’

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