As a small economy heavily dependent on trade for both its consumption and production, the growing threat of deglobalisation is of concern to the Sultanate. A splitting of the world economy as we know it would lead to rising inefficiency and costs for Brunei Darussalam.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy cum guest of honour Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid yesterday noted this during the closing of Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) activities for The Economy Week, held as part of the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2022 (Brunei MYCE 2022).
Calling for greater efforts, Haji Khairuddin suggested the employment of a whole-of-nation approach by involving both the public and private sectors, with the support of the entire nation.
“We need to work closely with our partners, both in the region and beyond, to ensure we are able to continue leveraging on our bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding, as well as our free trade agreements (FTAs). At the same time, our global and regional connectivity has to be improved to allow our businesses and people to expand to overseas markets.
“We must take advantage of the various FTAs by ensuring our products and services are able to access them by instituting competent authorities, standards and certification, and ensuring product quality and quantity,” he added.
Haji Khairuddin also pointed out that the national economy has notched significant development over recent years, particularly in the non-oil and gas sector, growing on average by five per cent since 2019.
Exports from the non-oil and gas sector exceeded that of the oil and gas sector last year. The diversification initiatives undertaken in sectors such as downstream, food, tourism and services are expected to further contribute to the growing non-oil and gas sector.
The MoFE is hosting The Economy Week until tomorrow, under the theme ‘Towards a Dynamic and Sustainable Economy’.
Activities will centre around topics related to economic growth and development, including gross domestic product (GDP) and factors contributing to the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the promotion of trade through FTAs.
The Economy Week specifically looks to deepen understanding on Brunei Darussalam’s economy and the contributors towards economic growth, enhance knowledge and understanding of the global and regional economic outlook as well as provide opportunities for the public, particularly budding entrepreneurs, to broaden knowledge and awareness on setting up and developing a business through the workshops conducted.
The ceremony continued with the presentation of certificates to moderators as well as seminar and workshop panellists.
The workshops discussed ‘How to Become an Entrepreneur: Be Your Own Boss’, ‘Exporting Out’, and ‘Bridging the Gap: Financing Growth’ and provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with relevant agencies, allowed for the dissemination of information on establishing a business, and ways to grow a business.
The Economy Week continues today with several activities including conferences and forums organised by Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB).
The Brunei MYCE 2022, organised by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, is a five-week event focussing on the areas of Islamic digital technology, energy, climate change and economy.