Use the economic downturn to create more opportunities, said Minister

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Second Minister of Finance and Trade YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah who is also Minister at the PMO delivering his speech. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

The second Minister of Finance recently urged banks and other capital stakeholders to seek and create more opportunities arising from the current economic crisis, and keep themselves afloat by utilising them well.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah who is also the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledged that Brunei is currently facing a pinch in its economy but added that with challenges, there will always be opportunities to overturn the situation.

“My advice is to not let a good crisis go to waste…we must choose to create our own opportunities irrespective of the situation is,” the minister stressed in his speech at Standard Chartered (SC) Bank Brunei’s second Global Research Briefing.

The minister further explained that Brunei is currently in the period of short-term and long-term debt cycle.

“Putting things into perspective, we are transitioning from a long period of monetary easing to tightening, which are raising yields and putting downward pressure on asset prices and economies globally,” he said.

“This is what we have largely experienced in 2018, and it will probably continue to pass through to economies in 2019,” he added.

The minister stressed that politics and populism have now played a big role in economies and markets, adding another layer of unique risks to the mix.

Brunei’s landscape, he said, has no doubt been affected by struggles seen in the fluctuating oil prices – promoting Brunei to face a new kind of reality where the ground is everchanging especially in the context of disruption.

“It requires us to be more thoughtful of cause effect linkages, to do a more thorough job of collecting information about existing conditions and assessing the probability of what is likely to come next,” he said.

As disruption is certain, the minister added, Brunei’s response to that must be deliberate and targeted.

“We must choose to thrive and stay competitive,” he said, noting that there are major trends that are well underway which will shape not just world politics and economics but also everyday lives.

YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah (L) receiving a token of appreciation from SC’s CEO Anirvan Dastidar (R). Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The one-day briefing was attended by 100 corporate clients and bank’s stakeholders held at The Empire Hotel and Country Club’s Indera Samudera Ballroom.

Chief Executive Officer of SC Anirvan Dastidar in his welcoming speech said that the briefing aimed to provide insights on how best to navigate the trends and currents of market events.

“It is important to know what it means for us in the ASEAN region and Brunei. We deliver differentiated research to the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across emerging markets,” the CEO said.

This year the briefing theme was titled “Fighting the Current” and the event also saw the publication of SC’s Global Focus publication.

During the conference, guests had the opportunity to listen to Chief Economist ASEAN and South Asia Edward Lee as he shared the bank’s global market outlook as well as Asia FX Strategist Divya Devesh on views of the latest developments in US, emerging and Asian FX markets.

For more information of the bank’s corporate and institutional banking approach, visit www.sc.com/bn or call its 24-hour Client Care Centre at 2658000.

The Bruneian