Sunday, March 06, 2016

Opening of Brunei Legislative Council Session 2016: HM Sultan Brunei: Empower Private Sector



Empower private sector: His Majesty
on: March 06, 2016
| Hakim Hayat |

EMPHASIS should be given to private sector empowerment in order to reduce reliance on oil and gas sector and pave way for a stronger economic outlook.

Delivering a titah while officiating the opening of the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, also called for a transformation in business strategy, widening opportunities by not only focusing on self-sufficiency but also an export-based approach.

Outlining some of the focal areas that should be given special attention, the monarch called on the private sector to explore and leverage on existing regional and international trade mediums such as the BIMP-EAGA, Asean, APEC, and the most recent Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to help spur the economy.

His Majesty also urged local entrepreneurs to be more competitive to be successful and seize not only domestic but also international opportunities. In this regard, the monarch highlighted a number of concrete steps the government has recently introduced to enhance the business environment through infrastructural and regulatory changes to ensure a pro-business and solid private sector – including an online business registration initiative with a one-day turnaround time, the exemption of business licence for some types of business and also the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Centre to nurture them to go beyond Brunei’s borders.

While lauding the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects that have already started operations in the country, with more in the pipeline pending reviews, His Majesty said efforts to facilitate the economy through effective enhancement and streamlining must go on. “We are still capable to do our best, on condition that we don’t become complacent with our current achievements,” the monarch added.

Touching on the fiscal budget despite having the ability to provide for a number of allocations for national development and government operations, His Majesty reminded that financial prudence must be practised by giving more focus to needs and priorities.

Earlier in the titah, His Majesty reiterated the need for LegCo members to focus their deliberations on strategic issues that bring positive impact to the country, while reminding that issues being discussed must be followed up with action, and said any achievements must be measured because if not, improvements cannot be made. “Any strategies or initiatives must take a ‘delivery approach’ to achieve the desired results.”

The monarch later urged LegCo members to demonstrate swift and far-sighted vision and said they should take mitigation steps and make necessary preparations before questions are put forward to them, especially in deliberations that can spawn ideas on how to generate the country’s earnings and how the government can become a partner in increasing the country’s and the people’s economic growth.

His Majesty also reminded that suggestions and ideas must not be for their self interest or simply come from a single source only without any in-depth study on them beforehand, as they may be insignificant to be deliberated in the LegCo session.

The monarch also called on LegCo members to continuously intensify their efforts in giving attention to citizens’ and residents’ concerns wherever they are in the country while hoping that it will benefit everyone.

The Borneo Bulletin

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