The Brunei ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) recently introduced the ASEAN Business Roundtables, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS 2021) and the ASEAN Business Awards 2021 (ABA 2021) in conjunction with Brunei’s Chairmanship of ASEAN 2021.

The series of events is set to provide an opportunity for government, business, and civil society, across the region, to come together and identify ways to promote inclusive sustainable growth in a digital age and celebrate business innovation in Southeast Asia.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance, Yang Berhormat Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah delivering his speech at the launching event. Image: Yusri Adanan

Speaking during his keynote address at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance, Yang Berhormat Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah shared the critical role of the private sector in highlighting the business issues of the region and finding pathways forward.

He said that during this time of global challenges, economies are “limping back to life with the new normal” which is expected to last for the foreseeable future, with many projecting that pre-pandemic growth will not return until 2023.

Welcoming Remarks by the YB FDr. Ar. Siti Rozaimeriyanty DSLJ Hj Abd Rahman, Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021 during the launching event for the ASEAN Business Roundtables, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and the ASEAN Business Awards 2021 held at the International Convention Center in Berakas. Image:Yusri Adanan

The minister, who is also Chair of the ASEAN Economic Community Council proceeded to outline two major shifts that have surfaced amidst the pandemic namely climate change and digitalisation.

The erratic changes in the weather are “causing havoc” globally and this, according to him, is “driving a key shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy”.

He added that with Brunei being an oil and gas producing country, efforts have already been made by the sultanate to realise the diversification agenda through the establishment of the Brunei Darussalam Economic Blueprint which acts as a guide to develop the country’s Industrial Roadmaps and Key Sector Masterplans.

Senior officials from various private sectors that are invited to the launching event for the ASEAN Business Roundtables, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and the ASEAN Business Awards 2021 held at the International Convention Center in Berakas. Image: Yusri Adanan

Touching on digitalisation, the minister highlighted how the pandemic has inadvertently caused the acceleration of digital adoption which in turn has forced people to re-evaluate the ways they operate their businesses. 

With the world still in a state of high uncertainty, as supply chains and movement of people continue to be disrupted, he noted how it is imperative for the business community to understand the challenges and opportunities “within and beyond our borders and how to access them digitally”.

“Brunei businesses must recognise the changing landscape and understand the tools available to them in the digital world and the skills they need to equip their staff in order to thrive,” he added.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance YB Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah (C) with senior officers and management from various agencies at the launching event. Image: Yusri Adanan

One of the key events highlighted by the ASEAN BAC is the ABIS 2021, a hybrid event that is slated for October. 

It represents the region’s most important business event for the year as it brings together the Heads of State, Presidents and Prime Ministers of ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners, global CEOs and thought leaders.

The theme for ABIS 2021 is ‘Building Our Sustainable Digital Future’ with a programme designed to support the Brunei government’s three strategic thrusts of ‘Recovery. Digitalisation. Sustainability’ which guides Brunei’s Chairmanship of ASEAN.

In addition to the Summit, Brunei will also be hosting two extra ASEAN Business Roundtables, one on ‘Fintech for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’ in August and one on ‘Skills for a Digital Age’ planned for September.

Chair of the ABA 2021 Hj Musa Hj Adnin delivering his remarks at the event launch. Image: Yusri Adanan

The final event in the series is the ASEAN Business Awards in November, which gives recognition to enterprises that have excelled in a particular area and contributed to the growth and development of ASEAN.

Also present during the event were Yang Berhormat Fdr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty DSLJ Hj Abd Rahman, Chair of the ASEAN BAC 2021, Hj Musa Hj Adnin, Chair of the ABA 2021, Haslina Haji Md Taib, Chair of ABIS 2021 who attended the ceremony virtually and deputy ministers, members of the Legislative Council, members of the Diplomatic Corp, permanent secretaries and deputy permanent.

To find out more about the series of events planned, email the organising committee at aseanbac2021events@creativobrunei.com

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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