Post-pandemic recovery must have focus on ‘green’ economy, says Brunei's top minister

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, July 2 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Post-pandemic recovery needs to include a focus on the global sustainability or ‘green’ agenda, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew during Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD)’s SME360 Series yesterday.

The minister said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play an increasingly important role as the nation moves towards economic diversification, and highlighted the struggle that many MSMEs faced during the recent pandemic, with more than half of firms projecting revenue losses of at least 50 per cent, according to a survey conducted by Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).

Nevertheless, as the world begins to enter the new norm, MSMEs should look at how they can now contribute, not just to the economy, but to social and environmental impact, said the minister.

He said as Covid-19 leaves many MSMEs in the red, there is a misconception that there is little incentive to go green.

“This mindset can and must change. No matter the size of your business, the momentum towards sustainability is gathering pace,” he said. Consumer priorities have shifted due to the global health crisis, said the minister, adding that the demand for businesses to be more eco-conscious is gaining traction.

“Becoming more sustainable also differentiates your businesses, creating value and brand reputation and goodwill,” the minister said.

In Brunei, 97.3 per cent of Brunei enterprises are MSMEs, he added.

Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew shared that embedding sustainability into business practices “does not have to include a costly overhaul of existing processes”, provided that it is done intelligently by developing a sustainability programme in line with the organisation’s financial viability.

“Do remember that no matter the size of your business, never underestimate the impact you can make.

"Saving the world will not happen overnight but you can start now by making small, sustainable changes in your business ecosystem,” he said, urging participants to explore and implore initiatives to get others to do the same.

Prior to delivering the closing keynote speech, the minister advised local MSMEs to explore opportunities for growth beyond the Sultanate’s borders.

“This is an opportunity to share what we all have done as a country, both private and public sectors, and how we can continue to work together to improve our economy and to create more jobs for our future generations.”

The SME360 Series was first launched by BIBD in January 2022, as part of the SME 360 brand refresh, building the brand equity for these services, strengthening their role as service providers, and extending the relentless support towards the MSMEs.

The SME360 provides a strong and engaging platform with a network of stakeholders, counterparts, and experts to share best practices, discuss common challenges and identify opportunities to build back stronger in a sustainable manner. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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Brunei , Focus , Green Economy


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