Regional online marketplace MondeB2B is in the process of onboarding 100 Brunei companies onto their platform by the first quarter of 2020 to export to economies within the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
MondeB2B’s COO Juan Sebastian Olea said their regional Q1 2020 target also would be onboarding 100 companies from each of the BIMP-EAGA nations (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) and the Pacific Alliance countries which covers Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
The 100 Bruneian companies being onboarded are mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) producing food and beverage, fashion and health and beauty products. DST, Baiduri and DARe are collectively sponsoring the 100 SMEs their online listing fees which are between US$15 to US$49 monthly.
After the producers have fully digitised their profiles and product specifications online, MondeB2B will begin to engage leading buyers – including importers and distributors – from the Pacific Alliance and BIMP EAGA through their network with the countries’ respective chambers of commerce and trade agencies.
“Our goal is to have a regionally focused, safe, online marketplace connecting the producers of finished goods with international retailers and distributors,” said Olea.
“First we fully digitise the producers (companies), which have been vetted by their respective national trade agencies, and identify any gaps (in product development) that they have to be addressed through our export training programme. Then we set up the payment options and bring on the buyers to browse the catalogue of these different countries and industries.”
Payment below US$5,000 can be made via credit or debit cards on MondeB2B, while transactions above US$5,000 can be sent through an external wire transfer.
MondeB2B will also be incorporating the option of an Escrow-based service where a buyer’s payment to a supplier is held by a trusted third party until the buyer receives the goods and approves them online, which then triggers the payment to be released to the seller.
Olea added that they are also looking into credit facility providers for distributors to be able to have better cash flow when taking on large scale orders.
“If I make a purchase and the bulk goods take an estimated 30 days to arrive and then I need another 30 to 60 days to sell, that’s a very long period to turn over, which can pose some cash flow problems for some buyers,” he said. “We are looking at third-party credit facilities that can pay the supplier/producer first, and the buyer pays back (the facility) later on.”
APEC Business Advisory Council member (ABAC) for Brunei YB Hafimi Abdul Haadi who also chairs the ABAC – MSME Working Group initiated the partnership with MondeB2B during a meeting in Chile, suggesting that the platform set up in Brunei and first integrate the sub-regional groupings of the Pacific Alliance and BIMP EAGA before incorporating all 21 economies within APEC.
Olea plans to have a local team in each country MondeB2B serves, which would also help offer a full suite of marketing services under the MondeGroup.
Watch: Brunei businesses go global