Sixth AYE Carnival highlights overcoming business challenges, solutions for economic recovery

The ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival (AYE Carnival) recently launched its sixth installment virtually from 18 to 21 November, carrying the theme “Reimagining Business in the New Paradigm”.

The first-ever virtual carnival was hosted by the Standing Chair for 2021,  ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs (AYEC) and the Young Entrepreneurs Association Brunei (YEAB) in partnership with ASEAN-Business Advisory Council, imagine Sdn Bhd and Baiduri Bank.

Several forums were conducted throughout the three-day carnival highlighting young entrepreneurs and businesses to overcome the challenges and disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic through digitalisation, leadership, collaboration as well as the inclusive involvement of women in addressing the grand challenges of our times whilst adapting to the new normal.

The AYE Carnival gathered hundreds of participants from across ASEAN countries with the main forum consisting of six sessions with speakers from ASEAN, India and Australia that represent over 10 sectors and industries. 

Image courtesy of AYEC

Standing Chair 2021 of AYEC, Convener of the 6th AYE Carnival Brunei Darussalam and President of the YEAB Nurliyana Fatin Arifin opened the session by welcoming the excellent line-up of speakers for the forum who shared insights of their business journey while powering through the pandemic.

The session was followed by a welcoming address by Chair, ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021, Director cum Principal Architect, Eco Bumi Arkitek and member of Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty Dato Seri Laila Jasa Awang Haji Abdul Rahman.

Image courtesy of AYEC

In her welcoming speech, she shared that the impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on various important issues such as the digital gender division, the lack of social protection and the stock inequalities affecting the livelihoods of the people. 

“Even if the pandemic disappears tomorrow, our economy will not recover overnight, this means doing more of the same is not enough, it needs to be approached from a different angle, a more innovative solution and response to the complexity which our youth must be included and involved in the policymaking process to lead our journey towards recovery,” she said.

Following the welcoming address was a keynote speech on the theme “Resilience in Re-imagining the New Paradigm” by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (R) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

The minister noted on the resumption of business activities and growth the world is entering the journey towards recovery after two years of challenges brought by the pandemic according to the world health organisation statistics shows COVID-19 cases in the region is decreasing. 

“As we move forward towards a post-pandemic future, all of us are also aware that it is simply not enough to return to pre-pandemic norms, instead this is our opportunity to be bold, to undergo significant change, and most of all, to embrace learning from the pandemic to emerge better and stronger and ultimately, to be resilient in reimagining business in the new paradigm,” said the minister.

He further said that it cannot be denied that young entrepreneurs in ASEAN are among the most affected by the pandemic, but time has shown that the young have overcome the challenge and triumphed and continues to inspire other youths by embracing the current situation to build an even better ecosystem for business and assisting those in need. 

Image courtesy of AYEC

Following the welcoming speech, six other forums continued with key note addresses from two ministers and four business leaders in Brunei titled “Reflections from the Pandemic”, “Re-imagining Leadership in the Age of New Normal”, “Thriving in the New Paradigm”, “Women as Co-Creators: Rising Above Turbulence and Uncertainties”, “The Imperative for Digitalisation: Building Smart Businesses” and lastly, “Sama-Sama: Collaboration for Recovery”.

The AYE Carnival concluded with a handover ceremony by Nurliyana Fatin Arifin, Outgoing Chair 2021 of ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council to the next ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival 2022, Cambodia,  Seang Sopagna, President of Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia.

This article was first published on 27 November 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 169


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