ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Business group explores opportunities under AEC
WHILE the oil and gas industry remains a focus for the French-Brunei Business Association (FBBA), the group has also helped local businesses identify opportunities outside of the country. Last week, the FBBA hosted a session on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to help the business community understand the potential of regional economic integration.
The Brunei Times Business Journalist Leo Kasim recently interviewed FBBA President Pierre Imhof (pictured), on the association’s plan to help provide regional trade opportunities for Brunei businesses.
What plans does the FBBA have in mind for 2016?
Being a business association, our activities are mainly oriented towards promoting business and creating bridges of cooperation among our members - whether they are French or Bruneian. We will continue to promote and develop business ideas. At every annual general meeting, we would raise potential business activities to our members.
These activities are aligned to certain topics that the FBBA feels are important issues such as ease of doing business, economic diversification and regional economic development. Recently, we ran a session on the ASEAN Economic Community which shows where we stand as an association and what Brunei can expect from the AEC.
We will continue to explore the opportunities and learn more about the challenges that the AEC could pose for Brunei.
Does the FBBA plan on bringing trade delegation this year?
I cannot yet confirm on what the exact plans are for this year but we do want to have foreign delegation from France or from other bilateral chambers of commerce from time to time. This would enable us to exchange views with each other to find out more about opportunities.
For now, there are no planned events for this in the immediate near future. But we will consider the opportunity should it arise in the short term.
Is the FBBA still focused on bringing opportunities in the oil and gas sector this year or are there other sectors?
France is also a country which has a large base of small-medium enterprises (SMEs) so I think we will do a lot on that. The SMEs are contributing significantly to the French economy so we will look into more ways to build bridges to drive this development for Brunei SMEs.
Construction is also another sector where there is potential for collaboration. As you know, there are large infrastructure project going on in Brunei. France has a lot of experience in large-scale infrastructure so this could be another area where we can work together.
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