Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) will be launching a virtual market platform called Community for Brunei in an effort to help sustain micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), in the food and beverage sector that are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus’ economic impact.

This was revealed by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah during a press conference.

Initiated in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Community for Brunei aims to unite the Bruneian community in solidarity to support affected MSMEs, by enabling these businesses to sell their products online.

One of the main projects under this new initiative, said the minister, is Community for Ramadhan which will give members of the public “the opportunity to experience” the Ramadhan market online, despite its cancellation this year.

File photo of vendors selling drinks at previous Gerai Ramadhan. Image: The Bruneian

According to YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew, the online Ramadhan market will be launched on the first day of the fasting month.

“It is hoped that MSMEs will be able to benefit from this virtual market by providing the public with meal options to break their fast that can be delivered to their respective homes,” he added.

Onboarding or registration for MSMEs will be opened on Monday, April 20, with BIBD ready to provide further explanation on certain guidelines via social media on April 17.

Before registering to the virtual market place, however, applicants are required to submit an online application to the Registry of Companies and Business Names (ROCBN) under MoFE by filling in the relevant details and selecting the Food & Beverages Services Activities.

File photo of a dish served at one of the vendors in Kontena Park. Image: The Bruneian

Registration fees will be exempted for the first 300 applicants, added the minister, however, the offer will only apply to those registered before April 30.

Aside from connecting MSMEs with buyers during this global pandemic, Community for Brunei will also enable the public to make donations to medical frontliners through its second project; Community for COVID.

“This platform will inform the public of the essential needs of medical frontliners such as meals and other identified requirements,” YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin explained, adding that the virtual market place will serve to identify “supply and demand as well as avoid wastage”.

“This initiative will facilitate and better coordinate the aspirations of Bruneians who wish to contribute towards the community, especially to meet the needs of our frontliners,” he added.

Members of the public can access the online platform at www.CommunityforBrunei.com which will go live tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, for more information on business registration procedures, the public can refer to ROCBN by calling +6732380505/+6732383444 or via email at info.rocbn@mofe.gov.bn

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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