The 2nd Asean-China Young Entrepreneur Forum (ACYEF) was convened on December 17-18 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, bringing together around 100 young entrepreneurs – including six from Brunei Darussalam – to discuss the challenges of technology and innovation in business.
The forum, carrying the theme Harnessing Technology and Innovation for Resilient SMEs Development, was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, and supported by the Asean-China Centre and the government of the People’s Republic of China through the Asean-China Cooperation Fund.
According to a press release on the Asean Secretariat website, the event saw participants, together with representatives of business associations and small and medium enterprise (SME) agencies from across Southeast Asia and China, come up with key recommendations on how to overcome the challenges of technology and innovation.
It was shared that the two-day forum served as a platform for young entrepreneurs from Asean and China to exchange views on the impact of policies and good practices in the adoption of new technology and innovation into their business activities, with a view to encouraging them to further contribute to the Asean Community building and Asean-China economic cooperation.
Among the topics discussed were the importance of harnessing technology and innovation for SMEs in Asean member states and China; key challenges hindering technology adoption and innovation; potential and challenges brought by China’s rapid advances in technology and innovation on businesses in Asean member states and possible joint ventures; and recommendations on how to promote greater role of innovation for SME development.
Exposure and insight
The press release also said that through the forum, Asean and China young entrepreneurs were also able to establish networking and business linkages, as well as to explore possible collaborations.
Among those attending the forum were entrepreneurs from six companies in Brunei Darussalam, namely EICO, Tarbiyyah Global, Teach Me Guru, Nextacloud, Pixelated and Trandie Brunei.
One of the participants, EICO founder Afiq Mohammed, spoke to the Borneo Bulletin Weekend about taking part in the ACYEF.
“The forum was a good experience. It provided exposure in various start-up scenes and entrepreneurial mechanisms that are in place in Asean. It is also interesting to see how China plays a part in the investment and development within the region.
“Overall, the experience allowed me to gather the important data and funds being provided by various Asean stakeholders and its partners,” Afiq said.
He added that it was also an insightful experience to get to know the various industries being supported by the countries.
Afiq said that the Bruneian delegates came from different backgrounds from education, technology, tourism and gaming.
“These are the few industries that are already expanding, even in developing countries.
“My biggest takeaway from the forum is building the network and finding opportunities to collaborate with other organisations from Asean and China.” Borneo Bulletin/ANN