Minister of Finance and Economy II YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah (L) receives the ABAC Report 2019 from representatives of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei Darussalam YB Hafimi Abdul Haadii and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Baiduri Bank Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha. Image: Wardi Wasil

The digital economy remains a prime focus for APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei Darussalam to build the capacity of local SMEs and strengthen their access towards newer markets.

ABAC Brunei recently presented the ABAC Report 2019 titled “Inclusive and Collaborative: Growth in the Digital Era” to Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah.

According to a press statement by the council, the report highlights the work undertaken by ABAC throughout the year and its recommendations that form the basis of dialogue between APEC Leaders and the APEC business representatives in November, on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Santiago, Chile.

A representative of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei Darussalam Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Baiduri Bank Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha talking about the report. Image: Wardi Wasil

The ABAC 2019 report sets out practical recommendations aimed at addressing current challenges and boosting regional growth and prosperity while enhancing inclusion.

“At this crucial juncture of transformation with a fast-changing landscape and a slowing global economy, it is imperative that all economies take action to boost growth, enhance inclusiveness and strengthen resilience,” the statement read.

It added that under Chile’s leadership, ABAC 2019 has focused efforts towards inclusive trade policies to foster growth in the digital era and advancing regional economic integration by following a number of key priorities.

These include; reaffirming regional economic integration, building sustainable communities through social innovation and green growth, facilitating micro, small and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) market access and success in global value chains, achieving inclusive growth through financial inclusion, innovation and integration, and promoting digitalization and innovation for greater inclusion.

A demonstration of both the merchant and customer of the newly launched Alipay recently. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Reflecting on the drive to push forward the digital economy agenda, ABAC Brunei believes that Brunei could benefit from learning the best practices of economies from the APEC region and is advocating for Brunei to implement the five pillars identified in the APEC Cross Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework.

ABAC Brunei also believes that the sultanate should place a priority on digital literacy, with skills and training on a lifelong basis from early education to in-work upskilling, to enable a future-ready workforce, and enhance capabilities of Brunei to reap the benefits of modern digital technology.

In support of MSMEs, ABAC Brunei has co-led and facilitated the setting up of Monde B2B Platform, an online marketplace that connects importers and exporters across the APEC region. 

Due to this, the online platform will enable Bruneian SMEs to export producers and services across borders and ABAC Brunei aims to support this initiative by extending the opportunity to 100 local SMEs by 2020, with market access within the BIMP-EAGA and the Pacific Alliance regions.

A representative of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei Darussalam YB Hafimi Abdul Haadii talking about the report. Image: Wardi Wasil

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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