Vladivostok, Russia - As connectivity becomes the key to ensuring the success of any nation, Brunei Darussalam's participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gives it the opportunity to communicate with counterparts and open doors for local companies to flourish within the Asia-Pacific region.
The past few years have seen the emergence of a different and more modern kind of market whose insatiable demand for the new and innovative has paved way for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) and IT companies from around the globe to explore beyond their shores, bringing to the international table technology that can change the ways of the world.
With the dissemination of technology and innovative growth being one of the many on the forefront of this year's APEC meeting, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) over the last two days here in Vladivostok, Russia has been busy discussing issues revolving around aspects that are important to the region's sustainability among them the promotion of SMMEs within the Asia-Pacific and encouraging as well as supporting them to come up with technological solutions.
In an interview with Brunei representative to ABAC and CEO of BAG Networks, Haslina Taib, she explained that by being a part of this important movement that aims to bridge the 21 economies, Brunei Darussalam has found itself in a promising position, giving SMME entrepreneurs "access" to "exciting initiatives including financing and market penetration to other Asia-Pacific countries that we should be taking advantage of".
Taking into consideration that the government of Brunei Darussalam has heavily invested in tech-savvy businesses and individuals as a means to foster interest in this particular market and subsequently diversifying the nation's economy, APEC's focus on technology and innovation has found a way to attract the interest of stakeholders in the Sultanate.
"It's relevant both in terms of Research and Development for Science and Technology that we are doing in Brunei," pointed Haslina Taib.
"It's important to ride and collaborate with other nations to give us a better outcome and provide perspective on our efforts that we decide to do on our own. There are frameworks, best practices and the likes that we can ride on in bringing technology and innovation to the market," she said and added that such steps are "relevant to our IT companies" that "helps IT industries grow in Brunei".
Touching on the ABAC meeting itself, Haslina Taib said that specific working groups were formed with China and Korea leading SMME environment discussions including the possibilities of creating a better funding environment for such up and coming businesses, which, evidently "is very much in line with work that was done by ABAC Canada and fully supported by ABAC Brunei, Japan and Malaysia".
The first day of the meeting, which started on September 3 and will run until tomorrow, heard Russia emphasising this year's achievements in terms - of regional economic integration with particular emphasis on digital economy technology dissemination, clean energy, food security, supply chain connectivity in the region and the aforementioned SMME issues.
Other working groups include the discussion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as discussions on Private Public Food Security Dialogue, skill matrix and specific focus on initiatives under the Energy Security Framework and so on.
Broad discussions were also held on relevant work priorities for Indonesia to be developed this December in Solo with the prospect' of informal meetings with senior officials, added Haslina Taib.
ABAC was first established in 1995 by APEC economic leaders whose purpose is to provide advice on the implementation of the Osaka Action Agenda and other specific business sector priorities and to respond when any APEC for a request information on business-related issues or to provide the business perspective on specific areas of cooperation.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin