Six Brunei entrepreneurs to take part in ASEAN-China Forum

Role of emerging youth and women entrepreneurs in economic development on the agenda

Six young Brunei entrepreneurs will be taking part in the ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum this September 5 to 6 in Siem Reap, Cambodia to deliberate and raise awareness on the contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) towards regional development.

The founders and CEOs of DotRoot Technologies, Candas Creative Company, Creativity180 Digital Agency, Respin Alpha, Avertu Management Services and Covered by Annisa will be representing Brunei, and are expected to take centre stage on the second session of the forum – along with Cambodia, Lao PDR and Malaysia – to present on the key challenges faced by women and young MSMEs in Brunei.

The co-founder and managing director of modest fashion brand Covered by Annisa, who is expected to deliver the presentation, said that the six delegates have consolidated their challenges into five key areas: finance (access to investors and crowdfunding platforms), innovation (lack of knowledge, awareness and supporting industries), talents, market size and information awareness (access to procedural business information).

“I think despite the wide range of industries we do come from, we realized that there were common themes in the challenges that we face,” said Nisa Masir. “From our evaluation we also recognized that MSMEs are interdependent within the value chain of the economy, and therefore being able able to share and learn from the best practices and challenges faced by other countries in the region is good opportunity towards progress.”

She said the delegates hope to work with the local government, to relay these challenges and work collaboratively towards their resolution.

The delegates are also looking forward to network with the 100 expected forum participants, who come from the 10 ASEAN member states and the People’s Republic of China, to establish business linkages and potential partnerships.

“All of us (Bruneian delegates) are keen to meet other entrepreneurs from the region, and explore what the possibilities are for our own businesses are to branch out abroad,” said Nisa.

DotRoot Technologies is being represented by its Chief Marketing Officer Ak Muhd Uwuis Al Qarni Pg Hj Zainal, Candas by its founder and CEO Muhd Rusydi Syukri Hj Md Jumin, Creativity180 Digital Agency by its co-founder and content director Mohd Faizul Ilham Ibrahim, Avertu Management Services by their CEO Norjinah Intan Mahmud and Respin Alpha through its founder and CEO Mohd Kamarul Fae’zal Murni.

The entrepreneurs are also being joined by representatives from the national body for MSMEs, Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), as well as Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The framework of economic cooperation between ASEAN member states and China most notably extends to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area – which came into effect in 2010 and covers an area with a population of 1.85 billion with a combined Gross Domestic Product of USD 2.5 trillion. The agreement presents a unique opportunity for businesses in the region to gain access to new markets without tariffs and trade barriers.