Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim urged insurance and takaful (Islamic insurance) providers to play a more active role in raising awareness on insurance through public education programmes, highlighting the benefits of insurance with regards to financial planning.
"For its part, the Ministry of Finance will continue pursuing its programme to raise public awareness on financial issues, including insurance and takaful, illegal investment schemes and others," he said.
The Acting Finance Minister said that the government would carry on improving the country's financial sectors. He noted the recent enactment of the Takaful Order 2008 and Takaful Regulations 2008, which aimed to "harmonise" the regulatory framework governing both conventional insurance and takaful activities.
"The regulatory framework will be periodically reviewed to ensure a healthy functioning of the industry in the country," he said.
Aside from onsite visits to local companies and operators, the ministry through its Financial Institutions Division will also discuss areas of development in the sectors with industry players.
Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman was speaking during the opening of Great Eastern Life's new branch office in Kg Kiarong. He said that the company, well known as the longest established life insurance firm in Southeast Asia, commenced operations in Brunei more than 30 years ago.
"I highly commend the company, especially for its commitment to a policy of localisation for its human resources needs in Brunei Darussalam, in spite of insurance being a very specialised and sophisticated field of finance," he said.
Speaking on the current global economic crisis, the Acting Finance Minister said that Brunei has managed to "weather the storm relatively well", but stressed that this was not a reason to become complacent.
He called on all stakeholders to cooperate to ensure that this financial stability is maintained through reflecting on the experiences of others and learning from them.
Chairman of Great Eastern Holding Ltd Fang Ai Lian said that the opening was proof of the company's commitment to their policyholders and the people of Brunei."For the past 34 years, we have been operating from a rented premise," she said. "Today, we are proud to be the first life insurer in Brunei to operate from an office building we can call our own. This new office comes with improved facilities to allow us to better serve our policyholders".