ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Cooperatives can leverage on FDI spinoffs
COOPERATIVES in Brunei can leverage on economic spinoffs found in different stages of the value chain spurred from foreign direct investments (FDIs), a senior government official said the day before yesterday.
In an intervew, Deputy Minister of Finance Dato Paduka Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said with the right business model, cooperatives can benefit from business opportunities found in FDI projects.
He said this following a dialogue hosted by Darussalam Enterprise (DARE) on cooperatives at the Design and Technology Building in Anggerek Desa.
“First of all, you need to understand whether the business model could be done under a cooperative structure so you cannot just jump into a cooperative. You must also understand how a cooperative structure will help you to achieve what you’re trying to do,” he told The Brunei Times.
If the cooperative model matches the opportunity, the deputy minister said, the cooperative can then pursue the business, generate economic activity and contribute to the community.
He said that youths interested in using the cooperative model to operate a business must know how a cooperative can work for their business.
The increased involvement of youth in cooperatives would also help bring in new business ideas and allow the cooperative to diversify their businesses.
The deputy minister also said that it is important for cooperatives to diversify their business and to not depend on a single source of income.
Meanwhile in the session, Md Norshafiee Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Jalil, Deputy Permanent Secretary (IT, E-Government and Industry) at the Prime Minister’s Office, said that DARE is helping cooperatives through its Industry Business Academy (IBA) programme. IBA seeks to develop more sustainable businesses by training business fundamental such as bookkeeping.
He said that the IBA programme is aligned to the needs of cooperatives which needs to improve on it governance just like any other business.
In his presentation on the strucuture of cooperatives, Murni Hj Metamit from the Cooperative and Cottage Division, Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office said that activities run by the cooperatives must seek to improve their dividend yield to its members.
Likewise, he said, members must also support the endeavours of the cooperative by choosing to buy products or do business with their own cooperatives.
Murni also said that the voting power of members are equal regardless of the amount of shares that the various members may have placed in the cooperative.
Earlier this month, YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the Cooperative Societies Act will be amended as to ensure that cooperatives are held accountable and to improve governance on the part of cooperatives.
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