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  • Country Launch for Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs (IDEAS) Project

    ANGGEREK DESA, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 7 JUNE 2024: The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), in its capacity as Brunei Darussalam’s representative to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), today hosted a country launch for Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs (IDEAS) project, an ongoing initiative implemented by ACCMSME under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAP SMED 2025), in partnership with the Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Centre (APWINC) of Sookmyung Women’s University, South Korea. The project aims to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs to actively participate in the ASEAN economy by increasing their capacity to use ICTs and online business platform through trainings as well as access to information while increasing connectivity among ASEAN member states (AMS) and between AMS and the Republic of Korea. With a total funding of more than USD 5.6 million from the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) targeting beneficiaries of more than 4,000 women entrepreneurs across ASEAN, the project commenced its implementation in January 2022 in partnership with consultants and implementing institutions from ASEAN. The project is expected to run until 2026 with activities which include (i) Developing e-Business training toolkit for ASEAN Women MSMEs, (ii) Fostering e-Business Trainers in AMS, (iii) e-Business capacity building training for women MSMEs in AMS and (iv) Encouraging and supporting ASEAN women MSMEs to participate in digital economy. The launch was jointly officiated by Yang Mulia Norlela Suhailee, Director of Enterprise Development who is also Lead Representative for ACCMSME Brunei Darussalam and Dr. Han Na Kim, Deputy Secretary General for Planning at APWINC (on behalf of Dr. Jungin Jo, the Executive Director) of Sookmyung University, South Korea. The event was held at the Main Auditorium, D&T Building in Anggerek Desa and attended by relevant agencies and partners, including consultants, mentors, project trainers and trainees. In her remarks, Yang Mulia Norlela Suhailee highlighted the significance of the multiorganizational efforts both at ASEAN and national level in mainstreaming women MSMEs’ participation in economic activities through which various development programs and initiatives have been launched to create a supportive environment that enables women entrepreneurs to embark on their entrepreneurship journey, nurture their growth and enhance their impact in the economic landscape. “With the implementation of this project, I hope to see an encouraging participation of Brunei women entrepreneurs in gaining new knowledge and skill, and that it will bring transformative experience that helps to reshape and strengthen their approach to entrepreneurship”, she said. For Brunei Darussalam, the IDEAS project is implemented in collaboration with Big BWN as the appointed national implementation partner and will deliver training to a total of 242 beneficiaries across all four districts starting from 9 June 2024 until December 2025. The implementation of this project will involve 14 local trainers expected to deliver training modules that will be customized to the country’s needs, conditions and context. The modules will include topics such as Business Model Generation and Innovation, Customer Development, Fundraising, eCommerce, Digital Marketing Core, Digital Marketing Advanced, Digital Content Development Core, Digital Content Development Advanced, Privacy and Cyber Security and Women’s Empowerment in Digital Economy. The goal is to empower women entrepreneurs to actively participate in the digital economy by enhancing their capacity to transition to online business through adoption of e-business and digital skills. About ACCMSME The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) is the ASEAN body responsible for strengthening MSMEs’ participation in ASEAN integration and in deepening and broadening their contribution to ASEAN’s economic growth. Comprising the ASEAN Member States’ Heads and Representatives of MSME agencies, and supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the ACCMSME facilitates the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAP SMED 2025), with the mission to create globally competitive, resilient and innovative MSMEs that are seamlessly integrated to the ASEAN community and to achieve inclusive development in the region. About APWINC and Sookmyung Women’s University APWINC: The Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Center (APWINC), a UNESCO chair organization in Communication Technology for Women at Sookmyung Women’s University, is an institution, established in November 1996 that aims to promote gender equality and increase women’s potential and skills in the digital field in the Asia Pacific region. The APWINC serves as the leading hub of an international development network for women's empowerment. APWINC collaborates with international organizations, governmental organizations, and NGOs to develop digital-related projects for women and plays a pioneering role in women’s informatization by conducting research, field surveys, education, and training. Sookmyung Women's University: Sookmyung Women's University is the first institution to illuminate the path of women's education in Korea, forging a new era of women's leadership. Sookmyung Women's University has established the world's first mobile campus, and has been recognized as the UNESCO-designated leading women's information technology university in the Asia-Pacific region. About AKCF The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) was launched in 1990 to further strengthen the ASEAN-ROK relations. AKCF has supported more than 456 projects agreed by both parties, in the areas of education & training, culture & tourism, public health, economic resilience, environment, peace, security, and connectivity. ASEAN-ROK Programme Management Team (AKPMT) is currently manage activities under the AKCF." About Big Begawan Project (BigBWN) Big BWN Project’s mission is to empower, encourage and support local youth, women, and entrepreneurs, in order to become self-sustainable and to create a diverse community of entrepreneurs from different fields who support each other to grow their businesses and ideas, accompany them through delivering their initiatives to communities and addressing the key challenges affecting the growth of business initiatives.

  • BEDB Conducts Roundtable Discussion with Singapore-Based Companies

    Singapore – On 5 June 2024, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) hosted a Roundtable Discussion at the Royal Plaza on Scotts Hotel in Singapore. Entitled “Looking Beyond towards a Sustainable Economy”, the exclusive roundtable discussion was attended by the CEOs and leaders of invited companies, including multinational firms based in Singapore, as well as representatives of various trade associations. Present as the Guest of Honour was Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II and Chairman of the BEDB, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd. Amin Liew bin Abdullah. In his keynote address, YB Dato invited the participants to consider Brunei Darussalam as their next destination for business and investment in Southeast Asia, leveraging on among others Brunei Darussalam’s political stability, strategic location in Southeast Asia, improving business ecosystem, transport connectivity, and preferential access to the markets in Borneo, the BIMP-EAGA region and globally. The roundtable event provided a platform for the participants to learn more about the recent developments and emergent opportunities in Brunei Darussalam’s five priority sectors, namely downstream oil and gas, food, services, ICT and tourism. In the discussions that followed, participants shared their priorities and plans for expansion in Southeast Asia, and inquired about Brunei Darussalam’s investment climate, policies and regulatory framework. In support of the event, the CEOs of three invited Brunei companies, Baiduri Bank, Datastream Digital Sdn Bhd (DST) and Polygel Organometallic (Brunei) Sdn Bhd took the opportunity to share their perspectives, experiences and potential opportunities in their respective industries, namely banking and corporate finance, telecommunications and digital economy, and specialty chemicals. In line with its mandate to help grow and diversify Brunei Darussalam’s economy, particularly in promoting and facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, the BEDB will continue its targeted outreach and engagement program in potential source markets such as Singapore, leveraging on the excellent bilateral relations, longstanding friendship and complementary economic roles between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.

  • Hengyi's Phase 2 Petrochemical Project: A Catalyst for Local Business Opportunities

    [Brunei Darussalam, 18 November 2023] – The Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) together with Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd. is proud to announce the launch of Hengyi’s Phase 2 petrochemical project that surpasses the investment scale of Phase 1. The Phase 2 project aligns seamlessly with the national vision of Wawasan 2035 and the Economic Blueprint goals, propelling economic growth and fostering job opportunities. Hengyi's commitment to the Bruneian community goes beyond the production of petrochemicals; it creates a robust ecosystem of business opportunities for local enterprises. The success stories witnessed during Phase 1 operations serve as a testament to the potential for flourishing collaborations; whereby a total of 15 Local companies have provided services as main contractors during Phase 1 operations and turnaround. As Phase 2 unfolds, Hengyi anticipates additional business opportunities for locals, mirroring the diverse range seen during Phase 1. Phase 1-success stories: Our local businesses are proven capable in delivering services during Phase 1 operations and turnaround which are categorized as complex services and involves high risk and high technology, such as machinery and equipment inspection and turnaround maintenance services. Among other services which require technical expertise and experience, complex and/or resource intensive and involves medium level of investment/risk successfully provided by our local businesses include hazardous waste treatment, heavy vehicles maintenance, and construction support and maintenance. Providing services to the crude supply vessels arriving at the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) facility. This strategic collaboration not only underscores the mutually beneficial relationships formed by Hengyi but also displays the potential for local companies to engage in critical sectors of the petrochemical supply chain. The refining of fuels. This partnership not only signifies a strategic alliance between major players in the energy sector but also paves the way for increased synergy and economic growth within the region. Several local companies also utilised fly ash (a by-product from Hengyi’s power plant) as feedstock for cement and concrete products. Other success stories included outsourcing catering, regular maintenance and cleaning works to local companies, and security services to private security companies. This approach not only bolsters the local economy but also fosters a culture of skill development and knowledge transfer within the community. As the Phase 2 project progresses, Hengyi anticipates additional business opportunities that will not only contribute to the economic landscape of Brunei but also act as a catalyst for job creation, skill development, and sustained growth. Hengyi remains steadfast in its commitment to foster mutually beneficial collaborations, further solidifying its role as a cornerstone of economic development in the region. Some of the opportunities for Phase 2 include: Phase 2 project will open opportunities for collaborative and strategic partnerships in fostering local business development through effective transfer of knowledge in reaping the benefits with regards to improved technology, system capability and managerial and technical skills to be integrated into the domestic market. During construction, several business opportunities are identified under the Implementation Agreement such as land surveying, site clearance, waste management, environmental health services, marine geotechnical investigation, qualified personnel services, catering and canteen services, cleaning services, security services, medical services and corporate services. The Phase 2 project leverages on the Local Business Development directives to help fulfill the growth of local businesses and demonstrates Hengyi’s commitment to build sustainable relationships with local businesses and service providers. When Hengyi transitions into Phase 2 of its operations, local businesses will have the opportunity to provide services in accordance with the Local Business Development (LBD) Directives for Oil and Gas Industry including land and marine transportation, material handling, maintenance of onshore facilities, after-sale maintenance services for equipment, inspection, construction services including civil works, waste management and corporate services  By committing towards a collaborative ecosystem, Phase 2 is expected to be a catalyst for driving economic growth, creating job opportunities and empowering local businesses.

  • Brunei Startup Summit 2024 Highlights a Confluence of Innovation and Collaboration

    Brunei Darussalam, [January 24, 2024] - The first-ever Brunei Startup Summit kicked off on Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at the Rizqun International Hotel, bringing together local and international startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors, and stakeholders. Organized by the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) in collaboration with Brunei Innovation Lab (BIL), the summit aims to foster growth, collaboration, and innovation within Brunei Darussalam’s startup ecosystem with this year’s theme as "Innovate to Elevate: Charting the Path to a Future of Possibilities." The summit opened with an opening speech by The Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II cum Chairman of the BEDB & DARe, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah. His speech highlighted the transformative role of startups in reshaping industries and economies, emphasizing the thriving ASEAN startup ecosystem and Brunei's commitment to fostering an enabling environment. Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of BEDB and DARe, Yang Mulia Daniel Leong, in his welcoming speech expressed gratitude to the diverse stakeholders involved in coordinating the Summit. The event endeavors to unite startups, ecosystem builders, and venture builders, fostering a collaborative environment for mutual learning, sharing valuable insights, discussing industry trends, and engaging dialogue sessions. He emphasized his optimism that the Summit will serve as a catalyst, propelling local startups toward new heights and unlocking unforeseen possibilities. The summit received strong support from Program Partners, including Brunei Shell Petroleum, Progresif Sdn Bhd, EVYD Technology Sdn Bhd, Authority for Infocommunications Technology Industry (AITI), and Microsoft Brunei. The event also featured local and regional speakers, panelists, and esteemed guests from various sectors, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. The Brunei Startup Summit sets the stage for two days of engaging discussions, workshops, and networking sessions. Participants are encouraged to embrace the challenges, celebrate successes, and foster an environment where collaboration is not just encouraged but celebrated. As Brunei continues to nurture its startup ecosystem, the summit promises to be a catalyst for future innovation and collaboration. For further information on the Brunei Startup Summit can be found at https:// www.dare.gov.bn/brunei-startup-summit

  • Brunei Economic Development Board Promotes Expansion Opportunities to Australian Companies at The ASEAN-Australia Special Summit Marketplace

    [Melbourne, March 4, 2024] — The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) participated in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit Marketplace on 4 March 2024 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Marketplace provided a platform for Australian businesses to seek advice and information from ASEAN’s investment promotion agencies and trade associations relating to investment and business opportunities in Southeast Asia. Through its “Invest in Brunei Darussalam” booth at the Marketplace, the BEDB engaged various Australian small and medium enterprises, chambers of commerce as well as federal and state agencies, who made queries on Brunei Darussalam’s business ecosystem and explored opportunities for their potential expansion to the country. At the sidelines of the Marketplace, the BEDB also met with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) to discuss ways to enhance trade and investment cooperation, particularly in bringing Australian investors to Brunei Darussalam. The BEDB booth also received visits by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, and Special Envoy for Southeast Asia, Mr. Nicholas Moore.

  • Four i-Usahawan Non Energy Contracts Awarded to Local Companies, Elevating Youth Entrepreneurship in Brunei

    [Bandar Seri Begawan, May 20, 2024] Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) held a contract signing for the i-Usahawan Non Energy program. The contracts were awarded to SYARIKAT ALMAG MAJU JAYA and RIZQ JAYA SDN BHD with the signing ceremony held at the Design & Technology (D&T) Building located at Anggerek Desa Technology Park on Monday, 20 May 2024. SYARIKAT ALMAG MAJU JAYA is a youth-owned local company that carries out general construction and ground maintenance was awarded 2 contracts for a period of 2 years to carry out ground maintenance services across four industrial parks under DARe’s management. Meanwhile, RIZQ JAYA SDN BHD, also owned by a Bruneian youth, carries out general construction, cleaning, event management and IT, was awarded with 2 contracts for a period of 2 years to conduct integrated cleaning and pest control services for 3 Ready Built Factories (RBF) also under the management of DARe. Both local companies were awarded the contracts by being a part of the i-Usahawan NonEnergy entrepreneurship development programme, which aims to facilitate opportunities for youth-driven enterprises. This initiative provides a pathway for these businesses to learn and grow in the service industry through contracts with government agencies, government-linked companies, statutory bodies, and corporate organizations beyond the traditional energy sector. Through the i-Usahawan Non-Energy programme, participating youth entrepreneurs undergo comprehensive training to equip them with the skills necessary to excel in procurement processes. Following a competitive bidding process, those selected, as winning bidders will be awarded the contract and receive continued mentorship from contract owners. This continuous mentorship ensures the ongoing development and refinement of entrepreneurial and technical capabilities throughout the duration of the business contracts. It is hoped that upon completing these contracts, youth-led businesses will have acquired the experience and resources for them to grow by serving more clients and pursue higher value contracts in the future. During the ceremony, signing on behalf of SYARIKAT ALMAG MAJU JAYA was Managing Director/contracts & Operation Manager, Muhamad Hamiz Hj Ghani (30 years old) with Deputy Contracts & Operation Manager as witness, Najib Asmu’i Hj Ghani. While signing on behalf of RIZQ JAYA SDN BHD was Director, Nurul Izzati Naqibah Zaidi (31 years old) and witnessed by Manager, Nurul Iwana Naqiyah Zaidi. The ceremony was also attended by senior management and officers of the BEDB and DARe. Youth businesses keen to explore similar opportunities are encouraged to visit https://www.dare.gov.bn/iusahawan for further information.

  • Brunei Economic Development Board and Bank Usahawan Brunei Forge Partnership to Empower Local MSMEs

    [Bandar Seri Begawan, 31 January 2024] - The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) and Bank Usahawan Brunei, successfully organized an insightful event on 31 January at the Design and Technology Building. This event marks the beginning of a series of collaborative sessions aimed at fostering the growth and development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Brunei. Both BEDB and Bank Usahawan Brunei share a common goal of supporting the local MSME sector. Recognizing their aligned objectives, the two organizations have embarked on a strategic partnership to better serve the needs of MSMEs in Brunei. While Bank Usahawan specializes in providing funding solutions for MSMEs, DARe focuses on facilitating the growth and development of these enterprises. The event commenced with Bank Usahawan delivering a comprehensive overview of their diverse range of financial products and services tailored to assist MSMEs in exploring financing options for their business. The latter half of the session featured an open consultation where attendees had the opportunity to discuss their businesses and determine their eligibility for financing. For those not currently eligible, valuable advice was provided to guide them on the path to securing funding in the future. Daniel Leong, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Brunei Economic Development Board and Darussalam Enterprise, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "This partnership exemplifies our commitment to providing holistic support to the local MSME community. By combining the strengths of Bank Usahawan and DARe, we aim to create aconducive environment for MSMEs to thrive and contribute to the economic development of Brunei." As part of the collaborative effort, Bank Usahawan will actively refer their funding recipients to participate in various programs offered by DARe. This synergistic approach ensures that MSMEs not only have access to financial support but also benefit from DARe's wide array of developmental initiatives. The event witnessed active participation from 17 local businesses eager to explore growth opportunities. Representatives from both DARe and Bank Usahawan were present. This partnership between BEDB and Bank Usahawan Brunei marks a significant step forward in creating a supportive ecosystem for MSMEs in Brunei.The organizations look forward to continuing their collaborative efforts in organizing more sessions to empower local entrepreneurs and contribute to the economic vibrancy of the nation.

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