Brunei is a small oil-rich nation located in Southeast Asia, with a population of about 428,000 people. The country has been ruled by the same royal family since the 16th century and is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. Brunei’s economy is heavily reliant on its petroleum and natural gas reserves which account for nearly 90% of its exports, and about 45% of GDP.
The government of Brunei has implemented a number of policies to diversify the economy away from its reliance on oil and gas production. These include encouraging foreign investment into new industries such as tourism, information technology, and financial services. The government has also invested heavily in infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, and bridges in order to attract investment into the country.
The services sector is an important part of Brunei’s economy accounting for around 40% of GDP. A number of international banks have established operations in Brunei including HSBC Bank Brunei Darussalam Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank (B) Ltd., Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad (BIBD), etc. Tourism is another important sector with over 500,000 visitors per year drawn to sites such as Kampong Ayer – one of the world’s largest water villages – as well as Ulu Temburong National Park – one of Borneo’s last remaining rainforests.
According to cheeroutdoor, Brunei has made significant progress towards achieving economic diversification over the past decade but there are still challenges ahead if it wants to become less dependent on oil & gas exports for economic growth. These include developing a more diversified workforce that can take advantage of new opportunities in emerging industries such as information technology and finance, improving access to capital for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses in Brunei, and reducing bureaucracy so that businesses can operate more efficiently.
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In 1929, the oil deposits began to be extracted, and these have made Brunei one of the richest countries in the world. Oil and natural gas account for about 90 percent of export earnings. Brunei is jokingly called the shellfare state. a welfare state based on revenue from the oil company Shell.
According to COUNTRYAAH, efforts to make the economy more versatile have failed. Fisheries and agriculture have declined, and the latter is now mostly conducted as binary. More than 80 percent of the food must be imported. As part of the food supply, the state has purchased a 5,858 km2 large livestock farm in Australia. Formerly important rubber production has almost ceased. In 2010, a large methanol factory was opened in the country. There are also far-reaching plans to build power plants in the Sungai Liang region. The Chinese are economically leading and dominate the business world, while Malaysians predominate in administration (40-50 percent of the workforce is publicly employed). The country’s economic assets, which are mainly invested in banks rather than invested, are in principle the Sultan’s private wealth.
Abbreviated as BRN by abbreviationfinder.org, Brunei has no public railways, but Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. operates a 13 km long railway between Seria and Badas. Along the coast there are quite good roads. Otherwise, the road network is substandard. Inland, rivers are the most important communication routes. Shipping is traditionally of great importance. Brunei’s most important port is Muara. International airport is located in the capital.
Note: the capital city of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan with a population of 41,000 (UN estimate 2018). Other major cities include Kuala Belait, Seria, Tutong.
History. – In the first decade of the 21st century, the policy of the Brunei continued to be firmly in the hands of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. During this period, the very moderate openings to more participatory political processes were not concretely followed: the Legislative Council, a sort of parliamentary assembly of royal appointment, maintained minimum competences without operating independently from the sovereign; furthermore, its transformation into a partially elective sense (up to a maximum of 15 members) envisaged by the constitutional text amended in 2004 did not occur. government structure of the first female deputy minister, while the sovereign retained the posts of prime minister and holder of Defense and Finance.
In November 2007 there was a turning point in the almost ten-year controversy involving Prince Jefri Bolkiah, brother of the sultan and accused of embezzlement: rejected his appeal, he was sentenced to restitution of the value of the assets stolen from the state.
Largely dependent on the revenues from oil and gas resources, in 2008 the country launched a long-term development plan aimed at promoting economic diversification through the enhancement of the human capital resource: the declared goal was to place itself between the top ten countries in the world by per capita income and in the UN Human Development Index ranking.
Member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – of which he held the presidency in 2013 – the Brunei reached in March 2009 an agreement with Malaysia for the definition of maritime borders, however denying having renounced with the he agreed to his claims on the Limbang region, which divided the country in two and over which Kuala Lumpur remained sovereign. The Brunei also continued to be involved in the dispute for control of the Spratly Islands along with China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.
In October 2013, the sultanate announced its intention to introduce a penal code based on a strict interpretation of the sharia, with penalties such as stoning and flogging. The gradual implementation of the new standards, which have been strongly criticized internationally, began in May 2014.