One of the visions for Wawasan 2035 is to diversify the economy in Brunei Darussalam, and one of the ways to do so is to develop the creative industry in the Sultanate. This is particularly important, especially in an era where there are less jobs and more graduates each year.
The idea of entrepreneurship is an exciting prospect for the youth in Brunei. The creative industry is one of the emerging industries in the country, and the government has developed a National Development Plan to nurture and grow the creative industry since 2012.
Sutera talked with Muhammad Sufi Bin Haji Sabli, a recent graduate from Universiti Brunei Darussalam about his thoughts on the creative industry in Brunei.
“As the government insists locals to be entrepreneurs, our creatives have started their own businesses, for example, most youths have been selling their artwork at Bandarku Ceria or establishing their own online business. Being creative has also become one of the skills needed in an organisation, whether it be the public or private sector,” said Muhammad Sufi Bin Haji Sabli
As mentioned by Sufi, a local photographer, the usage of social media has helped to develop the creative industry further but he hopes that the nation will continue to acknowledge the creative industry further and help the industry to move forward.
“Tenunan is one of the products that is worth preserving, as it is one of the things that is truly Bruneian and has been around for centuries and it is a shame to see it become extinct,” said Sufi.
With the presence of the Arts and Handicrafts Training Centre, which offers courses to the youth below the age of 35, Brunei has been able to revive the arts and handicrafts of craftsmen and weavers. The courses offered at the training centre are: Weaving, Silversmithing, Wood Carving, Brass Smithing, Basketry and ‘Songkok’ making.
While there has been an increase in art and music festivals and competition for local artist,the local platform for selling their pieces offline has been absent. Of course, there are events to gather local artist to display and sell their artwork such as Art Vision and Bandarku Ceria.
Brunei has potential to boost the creative industry, knowing that they are the fastest growing economic centre with an impact on the socio-economic development of a country. With the continuous support from the relevant ministries and stakeholders, the country will strive to improve the economy and productivity.