Javed Ahmad, the new Chief Executive Officer of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), gave the BBBF a presentation on its role in helping to develop micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Brunei. He was assisted by Daniel Leong, in charge of Industrial Site Management. 

Hosted by DARe in the Design and Technology Building in Kpg Anggerek Desa on 23 May, this well-attended event stemmed from a BBBF initiative to better understand the role and purpose of DARe and to identify ways in which we might help MSMEs through DARe by drawing on our membership’s wide range of skills and experience. 

We learnt of Brunei’s need to diversify the economy, reducing its excessive reliance on the oil and gas sector. The aim is to increase non-oil exports from its current 5% to 50% by 2035. DARe explained that currently MSMEs in Brunei contribute far less towards the country’s GDP and its exports than the average of all ASEAN countries. 

DARe’s key objective is to grow local enterprises and increase their contribution to the country’s GDP, its employment and its exports. To focus its efforts, DARe has identified five clusters of economic activity for specific support. These are halal, innovative technology and creative industries, business services, tourism, and the downstream oil and gas industry. 

We also learnt that DARe supports MSMEs in a number of ways including training, finance, access to both land and markets, support services and promoting both entrepreneurship and business opportunities through the electronic media. 

There followed a lengthy Q&A session, presided over by Javed Ahmad, which was lively, challenging and informative. 

We found this an extremely useful meeting and a valuable start to what we hope will be a continuing dialogue with DARe, enabling the BBBF to make a worthwhile contribution towards nurturing Brunei’s MSMEs. 

If members have ideas or views about how you think we might help, please get in touch with our Chairman, William Martin (chairman@britbrubus.com) or our Secretary, Charles Ting (secretary@britbrubus.com) We need to know what you think on this important subject.