BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on Friday urged government agencies to provide better infrastructure and support for youth, to help spur entrepreneurship and economic development.

Speaking in a televised address on the eve of Brunei’s 35th National Day, the monarch said he had high hopes for the younger generation to proactively lead the country’s development.

“Youth have shown achievements in entrepreneurship, economic and social fields… but at the same time, government agencies must not lag behind in providing infrastructure and helping the youth, especially in guiding those involved in entrepreneurship,” he said.

“I wish to see such efforts enhanced until the youth are really capable of working together with the government.”

His Majesty noted that government agencies must play their role in providing transparent regulations, as well as “solid support and cooperation”.

“The obligation of the government is to facilitate the business environment and generate competent and employable human resources,” the sultan said, giving special emphasis to agriculture and rice cultivation.

Even though there is a strong focus on youth, this does not mean the welfare of senior citizens should be neglected, His Majesty added. “This is because they are the ones who need more support and care.”

The monarch also stressed the importance of embracing digitalisation and technology, saying Brunei “should not be left behind in the digital economy”.

Reflecting on the sultanate’s role on the global stage, he said the country will continue to cooperate with the international community to combat “irresponsible elements” and help strengthen regional security and stability.

His Majesty added that Brunei will continue to contribute to international peace efforts, by providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as participating in peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Mindanao.