Consumer Fair 29th edition underscores importance of SMEs and MSMEs

The 29th Consumer Fair kicked off on Wednesday with a bang; featuring 580 booths from local and regional vendors including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand.

In her opening speech, event organiser D’Sunlit’s Head of Corporate Communication Chui San Ting shared her hopes and goals for a brighter Consumer Fair to come — marking the start of a fair that promises to redefine shopping experiences.

“Reflecting on our journey since the first Consumer Fair in 2008, it is truly inspiring to see how far this little dream of connecting businesses has come,” she said.

She added: “With limited resources but great drive and determination to push forward, we set out to create a beneficial platform where businesses and emerging SMEs could showcase their products and services.”

Ting said that despite the challenges faced over the years until today, D’Sunlit have remained steadfast in their commitment to the marketplace designed to benefit everyone.

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“This year, we are thrilled to welcome our friends from Indonesia and India, who are joining us for the first time. And to our friends from Thailand, thank you very much for your unwavering support and participation in our past events.”

“It is incredibly rewarding to witness our collective growth. As we celebrate this milestone, we extend an open invitation to other countries to join us in our next series of Consumer Fairs,” she added.

Ting thanked Government agencies for the support and encouragement and looks forward to more years of collaborative partnerships to ease future events.

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“Your ongoing support is the driving force behind the success of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on our platform.”

“By simplifying procedures for small businesses and facilitating the entry of international vendors, we believe there can be increased opportunities for regional integration and collaboration. This could position Brunei as a prime location for business prospects soon,” she concluded.

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Held at the International Convention Center in Berakas, the fair, themed “Back From The Future” shows the Future Day CF Family from 2124 stranded in 2024 after their time machine malfunctioned!

This whimsical concept aims to ignite a sense of excitement and curiosity amongst visitors to engage with the future today; discovering solutions and products that may enhance their lives.

From products to services, the anticipated Mega India Expo, Thailand Grand Fair and Indonesia Halal Expo are waiting to be explored!

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At the Food Zone, crowds are spoiled for choice with more than 100 vendors namely local favourites Excapade, Chikin, Gong Cha, Coffee Bean Brunei and Brunei Dumplings.

The event was officiated by the Permanent Secretary (Sports) at the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports (MCYS), Pg Mohd Amirrizal Pg Haji Mahmud.

After the launch, the event saw a special highlight that marked a significant commitment to rolling out plans for the next chapter of the Consumer Fair.

Speaking in his capacity as Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council Brunei, Pg Aki Ismasufian Pg Hj Ibrahim said the fair recognises the vibrant and essential roles that SMEs play in driving the country’s economy through the spirit of innovation, creativity and resilience.

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“These businesses have been pivotal in diversifying our economic landscape, promoting local products and services while creating a dynamic marketplace.”

“As we navigate into a rapidly evolving global landscape, it is crucial that SMEs and MSMEs embrace agility and proactivity to seize emerging opportunities and tackle new challenges head-on”, he said, adding that immediate focus should be placed on two key areas: sustainability and digital transformation.

Sustainability as a Strategic Business Advantage for SMEs and MSMEs

Pg Aki emphasised that adopting sustainable practices is not just an environmental necessity but additionally a strategic business advantage for SMEs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

“By integrating eco-friendly approaches, our SMEs and MSMEs can reduce costs, meet the burgeoning consumer demand for sustainable products, and gain a competitive edge on the global stage.”

“It is paramount that we unite our efforts to ensure these businesses are integral to our sustainable development goals.”

He added that promoting inclusivity ensures all segments of the business community can contribute to and benefit from these initiatives, leading to a more equitable and prosperous society.

Harnessing Digital Transformation for SME and MSME Growth

The rapid growth of the digital economy offers vast opportunities for SMEs and MSMEs, said the Chair of Brunei’s APEC Business Advisory Council.

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Pg Aki emphasised that utilising digital tools and technologies, such as e-commerce platforms and advanced data analytics, can revolutionise operations, expand market reach and drive innovation.

“Our SMEs and MSMEs should embrace these digital strategies to remain resilient and competitive. A shift in culture that values adaptability, experimentation and ongoing learning is required to navigate the constantly changing digital environment.”

“Together, we can support them in navigating this digital transformation, positioning them for sustained success in the future,” he added.

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Pg Aki this would additionally pave a platform towards strategic collaboration.

“On top of these evolving areas, the strength of our economy relies heavily on the solidarity within our business community.”

“By working together, sharing knowledge and forming strategic partnerships, we can elevate our economic landscape.”

The Power of Collaboration in Strengthening Brunei’s Economy

Collaboration within Brunei’s business community is crucial for economic strength.

“By fostering a culture of cooperation and mutual assistance, we not only bolster individual businesses but also contribute to Brunei’s overall economic growth and resilience,” said Pg Aki.

“Collaborative efforts such as joint ventures, industry alliances, and mentorship programmes, can provide the support and resources our SMEs and MSMEs need to thrive.”

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He said that fostering a culture of cooperation would bolster individual businesses and contribute to Brunei’s overall economic growth and resilience.

“This event underscores the importance of collaboration between the private and public sectors. In Brunei, we recognise that such collaboration is not just beneficial but essential for creating a thriving and resilient economy capable of adapting to the evolving global landscape.”

“The Consumer Fair exemplifies the potential of such collaboration. It brings together diverse stakeholders from entrepreneurs and industry experts to government representatives, fostering a spirit of cooperation and shared vision.”

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“This synergy is critical for developing comprehensive strategies that address the challenges and leverage the opportunities in today’s dynamic market environment,” he added.

Pg Aki concluded that by being nimble, adopting new technologies early and supporting social and environmental goals, SMEs can shape future local and global agendas.

Brunei’s Strategic Role as a Regional Business Hub

Following that, BIMP-EAGA Business Council Brunei Advisor, Thomas Koh said that in its 29th year, The Consumer Fair which has been stands as a clear driver of economic growth.

“As we say ‘The Private Sector is the Engine of Growth while the Public Sector is the Facilitator or the Enabler’.”

“The BIMP-EAGA Trade Convention in October 2023 focused on business-to-business (B2B) interactions. The resounding success of BETCON23 underscores its full economic potential and promotes inclusive and sustainable growth, fostering an environment for business development and cross-border trade.”

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Koh said that the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEBC) platform offers a valuable opportunity for enhancing networking and economic activities at the Consumer Fair, positioning Brunei as a key business hub and trade expo center on Borneo Island.

He added that by leveraging BEBC’s innovative platform and fostering collaboration, Brunei aims to attract a diverse range of exhibitors and visitors consistently.

“Rather than being viewed solely as a destination market, Brunei Darussalam should be recognised as a strategic transit point and distribution hub for goods moving through the East, West Borneo, and the Greater Sulu-Sulawesi Economic Corridor.”

“This corridor, which spans areas of Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak in Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, is a vital link in BIMP-EAGA’s economic infrastructure and by leveraging Brunei’s well-developed logistics and transportation infrastructure, businesses can efficiently distribute their goods to key markets within the corridor and beyond,” added Koh.

By establishing Brunei as a central distribution hub, it will enhance connectivity, support regional trade and foster economic growth.

The Brunei Advisor for the BIMP-EAGA Business Council added that by capitalising on Brunei’s strategic location and robust logistical capabilities, the country can attract diverse businesses and investors.

“Hence, drive regional prosperity and creating a more interconnected economic landscape,” he concluded.

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According to the press statement, “This future chapter will transform the event into a cornerstone for economic diversification and a beacon for trade and collaboration.”

The collaboration between all parties promises enriched content and greater opportunities for the 2025 Consumer Fair.

To encourage environmental responsibility, the public is encouraged to bring their reusable bags. CF edition recycle bags will also be available for purchase at the venue.

Visitors can also look forward to the Grand Lucky Draw Prize; a brand-new Toyota Vios sponsored by Toyota Brunei – NBT Brunei Sdn Bhd.

If you’re feeling adventurous, join the Time Travel Quest and team up with the Future CF Family to repair their time machine to earn a FREE Limited Edition T-Shirt.

Solve riddles and hunt for missing pieces throughout the fair. Grab your Game Pass at the Information Counter before slots run out!

What are you waiting for? Drop by The Consumer Fair today! Open from 10am to 10pm!


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