Brunei Darussalam’s non-oil and gas sector has shown continued promising growth – reaching a high of BND9.8 billion in 2021 – and is projected to continue its steady growth into the foreseeable future 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 yesterday.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said in his keynote address that the development of the downstream oil and gas sector has proven to be instrumental in driving this growth. Positive strides “have also been made within the services sector”, which included finance, transport and logistics, he added.
“To maintain this encouraging growth, Brunei Darussalam will continue its economic diversification agenda, especially in the sectors identified in the Brunei Darussalam Economic Blueprint,” he said, adding that there has been heightened interest from industry players and businesses to utilise digital tools and data, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) within various sectors, such as food, downstream oil and gas, logistics, retail and healthcare.
The minister noted that greater adoption of technology within the country’s industrial ecosystem has enabled businesses to operate more efficiently and interact with customers with greater connectivity. In anticipation of this, he said, “We must put greater emphasis on preparing our workforce to be future ready, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills and providing them with greater access to technology, not only to overcome today’s challenges but also to seize tomorrow’s opportunities.”
The minister expressed his belief that collaboration from industry players within all sectors is vital for the country to generate the productivity, diversity and innovation required to drive the economy further towards the nation’s goal of becoming a dynamic and sustainable economy.
MORE EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY
Yesterday, at the sidelines of the conference, the minister shared with the media that the government is encouraging the private sector to improve their efficiency and productivity to further boost the country’s economy to be more competitive.
“The focus is not only the domestic market but regional and international markets as well,” he said to the media. “We need to continue to encourage our businesses to look at how to adopt new technologies and best business practices so that they can become more competitive and introduce new ideas or products, and cater to the services needed by foreign direct investors who have come to Brunei.”
Businesses should also look at export market where there are opportunities outside the country, said the minister. He said the government has entered into numerous free trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“This is opportunity for our businesses to take advantage of free trade agreements that we have entered into to reach out to regional and global markets.”
He noted that ratification for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) “will be very soon”.
A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
The National Business Conference 2023 has a focus on sustainability, said the minister.
“Issues like climate change are affecting all of us. No one country can address this issue on their own,” said the minister, adding that “We need to work together with our partners, other countries and other economies and learn from each other.
”We must make sure that our businesses can adapt to new best practices to make sure that their activities are environmentally friendly and long-term, it can be sustainable. We need to have those important discussions.”