Virtual meeting focusses on digitalisation

Azlan Othman

The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the need to review the existing economic plans and digitalisation amid the rapid march towards a digital economy.

This is especially true in terms of industrialisation and food security, Deputy Secretary-General of National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brunei Darussalam (NCCIBD) Haji Halim bin Saim said in a virtual meeting ‘China (Hubei) Pilot Free Trade Zone-ASEAN Investment & Trade Conference’ recently.

Haji Halim cited the nation’s digital economy masterplan. The key enabler in transforming Brunei Darussalam into a Smart Nation is driven by digital government, digital economy and digital society.

To realise the vision, he said the country needs to go beyond enabling connectivity by leveraging on digital technologies and enriching the society with necessary skills
and knowledge.

A Smart Nation is characterised by a vibrant and diversified economy; improved competitiveness and economic growth by developing infrastructure, innovation, data capability, human capital and other resources; improved quality of life, public services, schools, safety, mobility of people; and environmentally sustainable.

As the key enabler for Smart Nation, the scope of digital economy goes beyond the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. Digital economy covers initiatives and activities, both in digital and non-digital sectors that leverage on technology to achieve impactful outcomes such as increased productivity and production, enhanced efficiency, cost effectiveness and, improved transparency and governance, while encouraging participation and facilitating official, business and personal transactions.

Haji Halim said Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries and China should work closely in the 5G technology rollout and speed up the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take advantage of artificial intelligence.

The online meeting was aimed at enhancing the economic and trade investment cooperation between Hubei Province of China and ASEAN member countries, CABC and the Department of Commerce of Hubei Province.

The head of Hubei Provincial Department of Commerce introduced Hubei’s development plans, industrial policies and cooperative projects. Entrepreneurs from Hubei Province attended.

Meanwhile, another virtual meeting between Shaanxi and ASEAN on trade and economic cooperation will be held on August 5.

Contact the Deputy Secretary-General of NCCIBD at [email protected] by August 3 for participation.