Bandar Seri Begawan - The commitment to establish a network of collaboration to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs) was among the fundamental aims of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed yesterday between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).
Held at the Rizqun International Hotel, the event saw the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) representing the government at the MoU signing. The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar was present as the guest of honour.
Entrepreneurial Development Centre Acting Head Asut bin Kadai signed on behalf of the MIPR, witnessed by the Permanent Secretary Hjh Normah Suria Hayati bte PJDSMDSU (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, while HSBC Deputy CEO Rosdi bin Dato Paduka Hj Yaakub signed on behalf of the bank, witnessed by HSBC Brunei CEO Todd Wilcox.
The Deputy Permanent Secretaries of the ministry Hjh Hasnah binti Ibrahim and Mohd Riza bin Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos were among the attendees.
In his welcoming address, HSBC Deputy CEO affirmed his belief that the potential growth of SMEs is substantial, and that it has the ability to contribute significantly to the economic growth of the nation.
In this context, HSBC through its Corporate and Commercial Banking has played a key role in assisting not only government agencies, but also in providing financial assistance to large corporations as well as SMEs, Rosdi explained.
To elucidate further, he said, HSBC launched a HSBC Business Connections manual last year that incorporates important information on experiences and techniques to manage challenges faced by business people in this age.
The book, he explained, also includes prominent business people such as Ideal Group Manager Hj Ahmad Morshidi; and Everon Executive Director Albert Tan.
Hj Ahmad Morshidi has realised his dream of delivering 'Halal' chicken to the country, and his product is renowned for its quality; while Albert Tan is well-known for his business in building modifications, such as the landmark transformation of Brunei Hotel.
HSBC, as a global institution, has the advantage of a global network with local expertise based on experiences in the global industries. This team, he added, can provide personal guidance and services to SMEs with cost savings and available automatic channels in mind.
The commitment to establish a network of collaboration based on the principles of equality and reciprocity between the signatory entities on SME development through shared services, and consequently creating the network as a platform and the mechanisms for MIPR to enhance the scope of services available to SMEs is one of the objectives of the MoU.
This first joint venture between two private parties is a new initiative introduced to SMEs.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin