Changes in Tax rate

http://www.mof.gov.bn/attachments/article/223/Siaran%20Akhbar%20Perubahan%20Kadar-Kadar%20Cukai%20(Eng).pdf

In this amendment there are a few changes to customs and excise rates. to be honest I never knew the different between customs duty and excise tax, I thought they come hand in hand. apparently there is a distinction.

Summary:

  • reduction of import and excise duites, to improve industry, t
  • increase price of sugary drinks
  • increase in price of plastics to promote recycling
  • increase in tax rates for mobile phones, leather and fur skin products, video games.
  • assitance for mothers in terms of disposable diapers and breast pumps.

 

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Learning about Branding at the Local Business Development Forum

I attended the Local Business Development Forum at the Grand Hall of Empire Hotel and Country Club on the 18th November 2010.

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The links to the slides were given to the participants, and since it was made available on the AsiaIncForum Website, I assumed it would be OK for me to upload it to scribd and embed it into SMEbrunei. Unfortunately, the presentation on Branding by Dr. Wilson Chew was not made available. I’ll go through my notes and share them.

Dr Wilson Chew’s presentation on how branding is not just applicable to big corporations, but can also be done by Micro and SME’s. Considering that all big corporations started from SME’s themselves. He further pointed out in rebuttal of a previous discussion on Public Private Partnership is not essential, it only matters that SME’s “Just Move”. His presentation on branding reminded me of a book entitled Origin of the Brand. His 10 Rules of Branding were:

  1. Perception is Reality – Brands are only in people’s minds, and often in terms of those brands logo. and most people remember brand logos very well.
  2. The power of being the first – People remember the first president, the first man on the moon, but rarely remember those that came after thme.
  3. Create a new category – So if you are not the first, you can become the first in a new category. People will remember Barack Obama as the first Black President (should I say coloured?)
  4. Narrow you Focus – Specialization by sacrificing vestigial or unnecessary products will help in focusing your main successful product. E.g. Nokia was originally in almost every electronic equipment, but they prospered when they focused on Mobile Phones.
  5. Differentiate your Brand- Make your Brand different from others out there. Show off what makes it unique or better than the competitors.
  6. Build your brand with PR – PR or Public Relations or Advertisers help SME’s profit by building awareness of the brand.
  7. The power of a great name – brand names should be short, unique, memorable, easy o pronounce and English sounding.
  8. Be absolutely Consistent – do not stray into other categories, as Mercedes had once ventured from luxury cars and into commercial transport (Busess, Trucks, etc) their reputation never really recovered.
  9. You need an Archenemy – Cocal Cola has Pepsi, Adidas Has Nike. Competition between the 1st and 2nd often create free publicity through discussion and debates.
  10. Sometimes you need a 2nd brand – if you are to venture into other categories, create another brand. Toyota tried and failed getting into the Luxury Car segment, but they succeeded when they created another brand in Lexus.

The Brunei Economy by Doctor Roger

MNCs or SMEs: Perspective from Singapore by Professor Tan Kim Song, Singapore Management University

Apartment Units for Sale!

That would be an ad that we will soon see in Brunei Newspapers, Websites and other real estate ads. I was aware that the strata title was already approved early this year, but I had not hear anything since then. And now I found that there has already been applicants according to an article in Brunei times entitled Only three applications for strata title units received since 2009 | The Brunei Times.

But what even caught my were that these applications have not even been approved since then. It was said in the article that “there were several procedures that needed to be undertaken before approval of a strata title unit.”

I don’t know if you’re thinking what I’m thinking. But here it is, there has only been 3 applications this year and they haven’t been approved since then, what happens when 100 or even 1,000 people apply?!

I hope they sort out the procedures soon before those numbers pile up. But here’s to having Strata Titles, and to owning Apartment Units 🙂 Cheers!

Now I’m thinking how much would I need to own one… Anyone out there give me a price range?

Market Segmentation Leads to Product Divergence

Basically there IS no perfect PRODUCT, there ARE only perfect PRODUCTS.
Malcolm Gladwell shares the story of Howard Moskowitz on how he discovered the idea of perfect products depend on the market segmentation. The reason why we have a variety of a single product, 3 types of spaghetti sauce, several types of nescafe and so on.

Brunei’s Credit Crunch?

I was interviewed during the brunei national day and one of the questions asked was, what I was looking out for in 2010. I guess it has been on my mind for a while now, at I answered that I was a bit worried about the near future economics in Brunei, due to the recent MOF policy imposed on credit cards. So now after much pondering, I’m sharing more what I’ve been thinking about.

The banks in brunei have been imposed a new policy by the ministry of finance, http://news.brunei.fm/2010/01/12/banks-told-to-raise-minimum-credit-card-payments/, whereby

  1. Banks cannot issue a credit card to a person who doesn’t have their pay directly transferred to the bank.
  2. Credit cards that are not accordance to this rule is frozen, but the user is still obliged to pay the repayments, and is given 36 months to repay in full.
  3. All credit cards minimum payment will be changed from 3% or 5% (depending on the bank) to 8%.

I have been pondering about the possible consequences of these policies. There are already interesting outcomes:

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