Brunei is a small wealthy economy of Southeast Asia. Brunei gained independence from United Kingdom on January 1, 1984. Brunei enjoys the second highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asian countries after Singapore.
The population of Brunei is 3, 88, 190 out of which 92.7& population is literate and a long life of 75.74 years is expected at the time of birth. Brunei government provides the medical services and free education through university level and also subsidizes rice and housing.
The nominal total GDP of Brunei is $19,430 billion and the GDP per capita is $50,100 and it ranks 9th in the world. The share of agriculture production in the total GDP is 0.7%. The major agricultural products are rice, vegetables, fruits, chickens, water buffaloes, cattle, goats and eggs. The contribution of industries to the total GDP is 74.1%. The major industries are petroleum and petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas and construction. The service sector contributes 25.3% to the total GDP.
International Trade in Brunei – Import and Export Details
The currency of Brunei is Brunei Dollar. On May 17, 2010, one Brunei Dollar is equal to 0.722387 US dollars. The total international trade of Brunei is $13.28 billion. The share of exports from total international trade is $10.67 billion. The commodities exported from Brunei are crude oil, natural gas and garments. Crude oil and natural gas forms 50% of the total GDP of Brunei and shares more than 90% of total exports. Brunei Shell Petroleum is the major oil and gas producer and exporter in Brunei. The major export partners of Brunei are Japan – 40.4%, Indonesia – 21.4%, South Korea – 15.3% and Australia – 10%.
The share of imports out of the total international trade of Brunei is $2.61 billion. The major commodities imported in Brunei are machinery and transport equipments, manufactured goods, food and chemicals. The government is taking steps to be self dependent in food and agriculture. The major import partners of Brunei are Singapore – 36.3%, Malaysia – 18.9%, Japan – 7.6%, China – 5.4%, Thailand – 5%, US – 4.7% and UK – 4.7%.
Recent Economic Developments in Brunei
Brunei’s leaders are concerned about the effect of increasing economic integration with the outside world on their society. Brunei chaired the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in 2000. Brunei’s economy has seen a rapid decrease in its economic growth in the last decade. The dependence on petroleum oil exports has made the economy unstable.
Thus, the leaders of Brunei are now encouraging foreign investments in various sectors alongside protecting the society from any kind of foreign influence. Brunei is also a member of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
Recently, a new policy stating that the new enterprises that meet certain criteria can receive pioneer status, which will exempt them from taxes on profits for first five years. This can be seen as the sign of Brunei’s increasing involvement in international trade and open economic policies in future. The government of Brunei is also trying to diversify economy through agriculture, fisheries and tourism.