ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Business reforms to benefit regional economy
BRUNEI’S recent reforms to shorten the process of starting a business is aligned with the goals for economic integration and liberalised trade, according to a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Brunei.
In an interview, Haslina Taib said that the move won’t only boost growth in the Sultanate but will also benefit the regional economy.
“Regional economic integration can be felt by the smallest of (progress in) operations because of speed, efficiency and transparency,” she told The Brunei Times in a phone interview.
Last Friday, the government announced the immediate issuance of the business licence that allows businesses to immediately start operations after obtaining the certificate of incorporation or company registration.
The purpose of the amended law, also known as the Miscellaneous Licence Act (Amendment) 2015, which took effect on January 1, is to speed up the process of starting a business as well as tocreate a more conducive environment for business.
Apart from being established faster, the amended law can also help businesses cut rental costs and earn their income as soon as possible.
The inspection and monitoring activities by the relevant authorities will follow the start of business operations.
Previously, a business could begin operations only after the inspection process was completed and the business licence issued.
Haslina said such “transformations” is needed to boost competitiveness and innovation among local businesses.
The mindset must be one of progress in which both government and private sector are constantly finding out ways to improve the business environment as opposed to focusing on the impediments, she said.
She also urged the private sector to take advantage of the situation and remain committed to the national economy.
In an October 2014 report, Haslina said it’s important to the country’s private sector to seek long-term growth and to think beyond making a quick buck.
At that time, she said that Brunei’s businesses can contributeto APEC’s economic growth which is highly dependent on the progress of the private sector.
She also mentioned that more collaboration is needed in Brunei’s private sector so that the country can increase its economic contribution to APEC.
Public and private sector cooperation has been highlighted as a key growth component of APEC which comprises of 21 member economies. Among some of the topics high on APEC’s agenda includes sustainable development and trade liberalisation.
The ABAC was created by the APEC Economic Leaders in November 1995 as advisors for the Osaka Action Agenda, and to respond to business-related issues in the APEC economies.--The Brunei Times
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