Private sector plays key role in regional recovery

Lyna Mohamad

The region has been showing signs of economic recovery this year, with the private sector playing a fundamental role in supporting the region’s efforts. Thus, it is crucial to strengthen collaboration between public and private sectors to pursue a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was said by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in a sabda at the ASEAN Business Awards 2021 yesterday.

“To support this collaboration,” His Royal Highness said, “several dialogues and programmes between the private sector and various ASEAN sectorial bodies have steadily increased in the recent years, especially in the areas of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the global supply chain”.

His Royal Highness noted that programmes such as the ASEAN Business Roundtables, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and ASEAN Business Awards, show that when the government and the private sector join forces, “great things can be achieved”.

His Royal Highness added that continued collaboration between the public and private sectors “will undoubtedly help to identify economic opportunities and relevant actions to further support the businesses in developing a strong foundation and explore new innovative ways to do business”.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

His Royal Highness also believed that “rapid technological advancement is reshaping our economic environment” as the world enters a new phase of digital transformation. As such, he called on the private sector, particularly the MSMEs, to adapt to “today’s globalised digital economy by upgrading their capacities, as well as tapping into new markets abroad”.

His Royal Highness lauded the strength shown by the business community in weathering the storm of COVID-19 amid the rapid evolution of the pandemic from a health emergency to a global economic crisis. The ASEAN Business Summit, His Royal Highness believed, is a celebration of “the achievements of the private sector in Southeast Asian” towards supporting the region’s economic recovery this year. His Royal Highness said, “Today’s event is a testament of the private sector’s hard work and contribution towards our economic recovery efforts. Therefore, I congratulate this year’s award winners to recognise not only your resiliency in facing the challenges brought about by the pandemic, but also your efforts in vital areas, such as sustainability, skills development and women entrepreneurs.”

His Royal Highness also saw the sponsorships received as an encouraging sign, as “dedicating more of the income for a social purpose should always be applauded and their dedication recognised by the Brunei Special Award for Emerging Social Enterprises. By awarding companies for their sincere dedication,” His Royal Highness said, “we are challenging ourselves to do better. There is always the potential to do better. With the right motivation, encouragement and support, companies can grow and contribute further their own community, country and region”.

He concluded his sabda by saying: “I look forward to the continuous collaboration between the private and public sectors to achieve a more dynamic, sustainable and competitive environment, so that we can recover stronger together. Sama-sama.”