The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global supply chains and created a new normal that needs to be adapted, said Director of the Industry and Business Ecosystem Division at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Allen On.
On said this during the opening ceremony of the 9th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Small and Medium Enterprises Development Working Group (SMED WG) at Radisson Hotel in the capital yesterday.
“On top of this, the world, including BIMP-EAGA economies, is also facing crises such as the global inflation and deglobalisation.
“This further strengthens the need for BIMP-EAGA to intensify its overall economic integration efforts and cooperation among the members,” he said.
He added that one of the key aspects in ensuring micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become more resilient is through digitalisation.
This has been reaffirmed by the commitment from ASEAN leaders through the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration.
In addition, it also identifies priority initiatives to be undertaken by sectoral bodies towards the development of an ASEAN digital economy in responding to the fast changing demands of the fourth industrial revolution to boost the productivity and efficiency while improving diversification and competitiveness of ASEAN MSMEs.
Brunei Darussalam is taking over the chairmanship of the SMED WG for a three-year term with Head of Business Development and Support at Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) Norlela binti Suhailee in her capacity as the chair.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from SMED Focal Agencies of the BIMP-EAGA member countries, BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Centre (BIMP-FC) and BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC) Chairman Pengiran Haji Haris bin Pengiran Haji Duraman.
BEBC also presented its new proposed initiatives and projects during the meeting and shared the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises.
The members also evaluated and discussed the way forward on the Rolling Pipeline 2 projects particularly the Under the Strategic Priority 3: Increased Participation of SMEs in the Corridor Supply/Value Chains; and Strategic Priority 4: Improved Joint Public-Private Sector Trade and Investment Promotion Initiatives.
One of the key initiatives that the working group is on areas of the BIMP-EAGA Mission on Innovation and SMEs Start-ups with Korea.
The two-day meeting ended with a visit to Pekan Bangar and Kampong Sibut Longhouse to take a close look at the MPK Sibut Eco-Tourism services and products. They also visited iCentre and Kontena Park under DARe in Anggerek Desa.