PROMOTION of the “Halal” brand, aquaculture and eco-tourism have been identified as the area of focus for the development of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) into the international market, said a senior government official.
Head of the Entrepreneurial Development Centre Effandi Hj Salleh said that the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) are placing emphasis on these three “niche markets” because a lot of work has already been done in these areas. “There are also other areas that we are looking to further develop to meet the Vision 2035’s goal of economic diversification,” he said.
Meanwhile, two pilot projects on cluster development for SMEs to facilitate them in the exportation of their products are scheduled to start by April, this year.
Effandi said that while the two pilot projects, one for tourism and the other for food processing, have yet to begin, the cluster development strategy which outlines what has to be done and target outcomes has already been drafted by the consultant appointed.
A cluster is a concentration of SMEs producing not the same but similar and related products.
“It is like an umbrella, a multinational company that can help SMEs bring and promote their products outside of the country. It is like a trading house,” said Effandi, adding that there are many different types of clusters in Brunei but unfortunately many of them are not integrated.
“We want to integrate them to enable these SMEs to come up and produce different types of products in volume which is a necessity in the overseas market,” he said, before stating that it is impossible for individual companies to produce a unique product that is of high potential without such integration.
“The ministry is looking at various programmes such as product promotion and to improve the standards and quality of the products of these SMEs so they can be more competitive and efficient in their business operations,” he added.
He also highlighted the product promotion programme, handled by the Promotion and Facilitation Services Division and National Standards Centre.
“They are looking at Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and ISO certification for food products,” he said, adding that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been adopted by the ministry to assess their performance in aiding SMEs