Silver lining in pandemic

Azlan Othman

It is without a doubt that digital transformation and sustainability are among the key opportunities that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mubashar H Khokhar said.

Herewith, also an opportunity for business leaders to steer the sails – leveraging digital transformations to align with their sustainability objectives, redirecting capital towards sustainable practices and companies, incentivising sustainable activities, and bringing more choice to consumers in terms of sustainable products and services, he said at the one-day Asean Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2021 held virtually yesterday, under the theme ‘Building our Sustainable Digital Future’.

“BIBD, as the nation’s largest financial institution, has already begun to embark on such a journey. As an Islamic bank, we have always been guided by Maqasid Syariah (objectives of Syariah), which speaks to the preservation and promotion of faith, life, the mind, progeny and wealth.

“These principles are closely aligned to sustainability, specifically those outlined under the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“It is hoped that as we embark on this journey towards making the world a better and greener place, we will develop practical ways of aligning our sustainability values with our business practices. Our hope is to lead the way towards a future that is more equitable and sustainable, not just in Brunei Darussalam, but also globally,” Khokhar said.

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mubashar H Khokhar speaks at the Asean Business and Investment Summit. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

“At the same time, BIBD has always been at the forefront of digital banking transformations in the country. We introduced the next generation of digital banking solutions, aptly named BIBD NEXGEN, in 2018. Not resting on our laurels, we have also begun on our next journey, with more digital advances coming soon,” he said.

BIBD’s commitment to sustainability will be powered by the environment, social governance (ESG) policies and framework, technology, and digitisation, which will be key enablers in driving sustainable and responsible business activities, creating more opportunities of employment, and an inclusive social impact.

“This will, in turn, allow us to become one of the main drivers towards supporting the government in achieving Brunei Vision 2035, in line with the bank’s role as a partner in progress for the nation, and advancing the nation’s objectives in achieving the UN SDGs.

“I believe this platform has grown into an important one to promote regional and international cooperation among the public and private sector. With collective effort and hand-in-hand partnership, there is much potential to uncover between the distinguished participants. I am positive that this year’s ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will continue to expand upon these ideas, drawing upon the vast and venerable expertise and experience among leaders, policymakers, international organisations and leading businesses in this region,” Khokhar said.