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French envoy lauds Brunei’s virus containment efforts

French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Christian Ramage who is also Patron of the French-Bruneian Business Association (FBBA), yesterday lauded the government’s efforts in curbing the COVID- 19 outbreak and making the sultanate one of the safest places in the world.

The ambassador was delivering a speech at the economic forum ‘What’s Ahead After COVID-19: A dialogue with Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah’ hosted by the FBBA at the Baiduri Bank Headquarters.

“I was in France in September this year. When I arrived in Brunei Darussalam one month ago, I felt privileged to be working in one of the safest places on Earth. This is thanks to the efforts and action of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) and other relevant ministries,” he said.

Ramage said instead of hosting a French National Day reception this year, which included sponsorship from FBBA, it was decided a donation be made to the COVID-19 Relief Fund which is under the MoH and the MoFE.

“This is our contribution to the people of Brunei Darussalam,” the ambassador said.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy) Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Permanent Secretary (Economy) at the MoFE Dr Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin, the diplomatic corps and FBBA members were also present at the event that also featured an interactive dialogue session and a Q&A session.

During the forum, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew shared his views on the current local economic landscape and encouraged companies to expand their businesses by exploring new activities, including working closely with foreign direct investments and potential export markets.

Thanking FBBA members for their contribution towards economic development, in particular, providing business opportunities to local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and job opportunities to locals, the minister reiterated the need for productivity growth in all sectors and the development of a vibrant private sector as the driving force for economic growth.