Brunei Darussalam can tap into its rich silica sand reserves in the Tutong District to produce high-quality products, for example those of the pharmaceutical industry where their market potential is enormous.

Speaking in a meeting with the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Brunei Darussalam (NCCIBD) yesterday at the Star Lodge Hotel during his visit to the country, President of the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce Dato Haji Moehamad Izat Emir, added that the other ASEAN member states share many similarities with Brunei, such as their economies.

Oil and gas for instance, he said, is managed differently in each of the countries, and the ASEAN member nations “should complement each other” in the management of the resources. “Rice is also a very important commodity in ASEAN and its export has to be done properly,” Dato Haji Moehamad Izat Emir said.

The President, who has been with Malaysia’s Malay Chamber for the past 17 years, added that the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce will be staging the Digital ASEAN expo, and will be sharing what Brunei Darussalam has to offer to the rest of ASEAN.

Brunei Darussalam is the sixth country Dato Haji Moehamad Izat Emir has visited in ASEAN.

The meeting also saw the other participants, which included members of the Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPPMB) and Industry and Chinese Chamber of Commerce Bandar Seri Begawan (CCC BSB), putting forth their suggestions on improving regional trade and sharing developments in the local commerce scene.

Vice President of the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce Dato’ Sri Erynna binti Rashid suggested that there should be a special meeting between the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and NCCIBD to discuss further areas of cooperation.

President of the NCCIBD for 2018-2021, Haji Mohammad Hanafi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Abdul Rahman noted that the new office bearers for the NCCIBD and its organisational structure are only just being finalised.

NCCIBD Vice-President Haji Abdul Saman bin Haji Ahmad called on the chamber to participate in the ASEAN digital forum to be held in Malaysia, highlighting that subsequent Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) need to be signed between the NCCIBD and ASEAN Chamber of Commerce before any further ties in commerce and trade can be realised.

Vice President of the CCC BSBS David Lim on the other hand suggested for the NCCIBD to go on a familiarisation tour to Malaysia and to take advantage of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.