SMALL Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should take advantage of available support systems and schemes to venture outside the country, a senior government official said yesterday.
"I understand under the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) alone there are various schemes put in place to assist the local SMEs either in the forms of financial assistance, mentorship, expertise a well as competency and capacity building programmes in order to prepare our local SMEs for their international venture," said Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Dato Paduka Hj Md Roselan Hj Md Daud.
Dato Paduka Hj Md Roselan was speaking during an event yesterday that gathered representatives of local businesses and international entrepreneurs to share experiences in overseas expansion.
Reiterating the government's commitment to developing the capacity of local businesses to venture overseas, the permanent secretary said local SMEs need to acknowledge the need to seek new markets in an increasingly open and globalised world.
"No doubt there will be risks and challenges particularly when venturing into new unchartered waters," he said during the Fifth SME Dialogue hosted by the BEDB at the Centrepoint Gadong yesterday.
Local SMEs must acknowledge the need to change certain aspects of doing business in order to gain a successful foothold in the global arena, he stressed.
These aspects include good governance and good business practices as well as an understanding of the business environment in the countries they intend to venture into, he said.
"Personally, I believe that successful entrepreneurs are always armed with plentiful ammunitions of passion, strong will and foresight."
Earlier this year, the BEDB launched the Promising Local Enterprise Development Scheme (PLEDS), which is designed to provide assistance to promising local enterprises to expand their businesses and venture into new opportunities in the international arena.
Five companies have already signed up for the scheme for its pilot run; Megamas Training Company Sdn Bhd, BMC Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Sahamada Corporation Sdn Bhd, Sabli Food Industries Sdn Bhd and Goldmyne Hardware Sdn Bhd.
The permanent secretary lauded efforts by the BEDB for actively organising the SME dialogues since last year and have invited renowned entrepreneurs from around the region as guest speakers for the dialogues.
Sharing their experiences in building their respective companies into regional players yesterday were Douglas Foo, Chairman & CEO of Sakae Holdings Limited, Singapore and Ricardo Z Cuna, President and CEO of Milkin Corporations and ACG Inc of the Philippines.
Sakae Holdings is one of the fastest growing food groups in Singapore. With over 60 outlets worldwide, its Sakae Sushi chain has expanded into Thailand, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong and the US.
A founding member of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc, Cuna's passion and love for ice cream propelled him to venture into the ice cream business in Manil, and has set up branches in Malaysia and the Middle East.
"I hope with the sharing of experiences and knowledge with these people, local SMEs will begin to realise that it's time to start looking outside Brunei for more opportunities to further grow their businesses," he said.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
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