Brunei Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Population 437,483
Language malay language
Religion Islam
State system absolute monarchy
Head of State Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Head of government Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Currency name Brunei dollar BND

Brunei Basic Information

Travel
Time shift +6/+7 (DST)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 29.2
Economic growth (%) -1.3
Inflation (%) 1.7
Unemployment (%) ON

Brunei Darussalam offers investors a stable political environment, very good infrastructure, an educated workforce and a very capital-strong economy open to foreign investment. Traditionally, it also presents itself as the Hub of ASEAN with regard to the aforementioned strengths. The current Strategy Wawasan Brunei 2035 (strongly linked to the UN Agenda 2030) in addition to general development goals (increasing education, quality of life and strengthening the dynamism and sustainability of the economy) sets priority investment areas, i.e.: oil and gas industry, ICT, services, gastronomy and tourism industry. It ranks 66th in the Doing Business ranking, which makes it comparatively better than neighboring Indonesia (73) or the Philippines (95). Nevertheless, Brunei’s economy in 2021 suffered a historic drop in oil revenues in Q3 2021, not repeated since 2016, when the price of a barrel of oil fell to 34.62 USD. In addition, low incomes faced a partial lockdown due to the spread of the Delta mutation, which halted even consumption-driven growth. Repeated attempts at structural reforms aimed at diversification, which began in the 1990s, basically did not translate into significant factual change. Even compared to other similarly oriented economies, e.g. the UAE, Indonesia, the dependence of the Brunei state budget on oil revenues is significantly greater.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country: Brunei Darussalam, Negara Brunei Darussalam (Malay), Brunei Darussalam (English) The country is headed by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, whose full name is: HIS MAJESTY SULTAN HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH MU’IZZADDIN WADDAULAH IBNI AL-MARHUM SULTAN HAJI OMAR ‘ALI SAIFUDDIEN SA’ADUL KHAIRI WADDIEN, SULTAN AND YANG DI-PERTUAN OF NEGARA BRUNEI DARUSSALAM. Check equzhou to learn more about Brunei political system.

The prime minister and the minister of key departments is the sultan himself. The other members of the cabinet are de facto officials of the Sultan, who usually remain in their positions for a relatively long period of time. The only government party, and also the only ever registered political party, Parti Pembangunan is inactive. The absolute power of the Sultan is unshakable and unquestioned. The monarch is recognized and very popular, also because he ensures a high standard of living for the inhabitants. The only political variable associated with the vision of change is thus the age of the monarch. Since the 1990s, national-ideological tendencies towards the introduction of a Malaysian Islamic monarchy have also been increasing.

Composition of the government:

Isa Ibrahim Mohamad Roselan Daud

Attorney General: Ahmad Isa

Culture, Youth and Sports: Halbi Mohammad Yussof

Development: Suhaimi Gafar

Education: Hamzah Sulaiman

Energy and Industry: Mat Suny Hussein

Finance: Amin Liew Abdullah

Foreign Relations and Trade: Erywan Yusof

Foreign policy of the country

In the field of foreign policy, Brunei focuses on its closest neighbors, especially Malaysia, Singapore and other states of the ASEAN grouping, of which the country is a member. Brunei deepened its relations with ASEAN countries by signing the largest regional trade agreement known as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) in November 2020 (effective from January 2022). The close relations with Malaysia were confirmed by the visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, which mainly related to the construction of the Trans-Borneo highway on the link between Malaysia and Brunei, which will start in 2023. Brunei also maintains high diplomatic relations with China, especially in relation to China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea. The negotiations had a positive outcome for Brunei, namely the allocation of a Chinese investment of USD 1billion in the form of the Hengyi petrochemical plant. Check recipesinthebox for Brunei defense and foreign policy.

In relation to the great powers, it has a traditional political vector on the USA, which is currently balanced by the strengthening development of relations with China. Among the European countries, it has closer relations especially with the countries of the mining conglomerates that operate the Brunei deposits. Brunei regularly organizes military exercises with Great Britain and the USA. The relationship between Brunei and India rests on the security guarantees that India provides to the younger brother.

Population

437,483 inhabitants (2020)

150,000 inhabitants live in the capital

7inhabitants/km²

196,800 – labor force

average annual growth of 3% (2019)

National composition: Malay 66.3%, Chinese 11.2%, Indigenous 3.4%, Other 19.1% Religious composition: Muslim 66%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, non-religious 7% and other 4%

Bahasa Melayu is the official language. You can also communicate in English and Chinese dialects.

The number of the productive population decreased during the corona crisis as a result of the departure of a number of foreign workers, especially those working in lower positions. In line with this fact, the government introduced the iReady program, which offers retraining and upskilling to locals without a university degree, in order to ensure suitable workers for vacant positions.