Sultan lauds private sector role in economic development
Hakim Hayat

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam acknowledged the crucial role of the private sector and state-owned enterprises in spurring the country's economic development and urged them to leverage on the government's many initiatives in aiding the sector's expansion and growth.

"Through our economic strategy in the 10th National Development Plan (NDP) 2012-2017, we are constantly striving to build a competitive and resilient economy that is able to create excellent job opportunities for the people and residents in the public and private sectors," His Majesty said.

The monarch delivered a titah at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering with professionals, officers and staff from the private sector and government linked companies (GLC) hosted by Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB).

Also present at the gathering held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

His Majesty expects GLCs and the private sector to jointly review strategies put forward in the 10th NDP, especially on economic, entrepreneurial and local business development strategies for the development and expansion of these sectors.

His Majesty believes that with the capitalisation of experience, these sectors can embark on the exploration of better opportunities, including those beyond Brunei's borders. "In this regard, my government through several relevant agencies is in the process of and has already provided strategies, services and facilities to pave the way for a stronger performing private sector, encompassing national, regional and international levels," His Majesty added.

His Majesty said he values the commitment of these sectors in their endeavour to boost their capacities through various programmes linked with the government for local employees such as the Human Capacity Building Scheme for private sector that aims to upgrade skills and professionalism of employees.

His Majesty also commended the notably increasing participation of the private sector in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. "I am happy to learn that these sectors are exemplifying their responsibilities in taking care of the welfare of underprivileged individuals as this was evident during the month of Ramadhan that has just passed," the ruler said.

The monarch went on to say that he anticipates these welfare efforts to be continually augmented through a network of cooperation and strategic partnerships with the YSHHB and non-government organisations (NGOs). "It would provide mutual benefits for both sides. Those given assistance will be relieved while those who came to render help would attain satisfaction and reward," His Majesty added.

In conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivity, His Majesty in the titah said the opportunity can be drawn on to strengthen the family institution and forge closer ties among us. "This is the Bruneian way, where joyfulness is not only celebrated among families, relatives and friends but also in the organisational and community life. This will enrich mutual respect, the attitude of helping each other, tolerance, transparency, trust and honesty in all aspects of life," His Majesty said.

Such practices, His Majesty added, if constantly carried out would become a culture. "An excellent culture reflects the strength of a community built upon religion. Let us together preserve religion in our daily lives and work. I believe our nation's prosperity and strength lie on these foundations," the monarch added in closing his titah. - Borneo Bulletin (29 August 2012)