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The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2016

  • ID: 3775365
  • Country Profile
  • Region: Brunei
  • Oxford Business Group
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The Coming Years Will See Brunei Darussalam Further Ensconce Itself Within Both the ASEAN and Global Economies


  • Baiduri Bank
  • Insurans Islam TAIB
  • KPMG Brunei Darussalam
  • Swee
  • MORE
Despite economic and legal changes now under way, Brunei Darussalam remains well positioned to continue on its current trajectory of steady economic growth and political stability. The increasing focus on economic diversification, and the ongoing growth of the non-energy sectors, bodes well for the Bruneian economy, as does further exploration and improved efficiency in the oil and gas industry.

Furthermore, the development of local capacity across various industries should help ensure sustainable growth, and the coming years will see Brunei Darussalam further ensconce itself within both the ASEAN and global economies.

While both 2015 and 2016 have held numerous important changes for Brunei Darussalam, the nation has long maintained its unique balance of tradition and modernity. Situated along the coast of the South China Sea, the Sultanate covers 5765 sq km on the north-western coast of the island of Borneo. It shares the island of with the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the five provinces of Indonesian Kalimantan.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • Baiduri Bank
  • Insurans Islam TAIB
  • KPMG Brunei Darussalam
  • Swee
  • MORE
1. Country Profile
- A new direction: Economic diversification and the development of human capital are central to plans going forward
- Traditions and change: Fusing a conservative approach with economic development
- Interview: Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, ASEAN

2. Economy
- Diversity drive: Two mega-projects and investment in the non-energy sectors aim to broaden the economy and impact GDP growth
- Effective measures: Reforms in the Sultanate saw its World Bank ease of doing business ranking rise in 2016
- Interview: Dato Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance; and Chairman, Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB)
- Viewpoint: Andrew Robb, the Australian Government’s Special Envoy for Trade
- Rationalising costs: With reduced oil and gas revenues, the Sultanate is reforming the public sector and diversifying its economy

3. Trade & Investment
- Targeted approach: Regulatory reforms are under way to attract foreign investment in key industries
- Interview: Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade
- Economic benefits: A new trade agreement is expected to underpin diversification efforts

4. Energy
- Plan of action: A changing marketplace has led to a host of initiatives spearheaded by both the government and the private sector
- A natural leader: Partnerships with major international oil companies have helped the country cope with a fall in natural gas prices
- Neighbourly relations: By working with its ASEAN partners the Sultanate is identifying new avenues for growth and collaboration
- Waste not, want not: Subsidies have long been a staple, but the government is encouraging its citizens to reduce consumption
- Embracing renewables: Confronting the reality of climate change has become a priority

5. Industry
- Turning tides: New strategies should lead to expanded opportunities
- Halal growth: A new development cluster will unlock local potential

6. Banking
- Making headway: Ongoing changes are improving standards in the sector
- Interview: Yusof bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Managing Director, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD)
- Interview: Pierre Imhof, CEO, Baiduri Bank
- Balancing act: New policies should shore up the sector against challenges
- Interview: Ajay Kanwal, Regional CEO, ASEAN and South Asia, Standard Chartered

7. Islamic Financial Services
- Major player: As the country moves towards sharia law, the sector is poised to grow in importance and scope
- Interview: Javed Ahmad, Former Managing Director, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD)
- New moves: Islamic bonds expand the country’s financial base

8. Insurance
- Resilient growth: Low penetration rate offers room for expansion, while takaful is steadily increasing its market share
- Calling Asia Pacific: Efforts to standardise and liberalise the regional insurance market continue
- Interview: Osman Jair, Managing Director, Insurans Islam TAIB; and Chairman, Brunei Insurance and Takaful Association (BITA)

9. ICT
- "Charting a new course: The government has established ambitious goals to help private firms build their businesses on the back of new
- infrastructure"
- It starts at home: Building a local ICT workforce is a critical step in developing the sector’s long-term prospects
- Interview: Pengiran Zain, Chief Executive, Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI)

10. Transport
- Pulling its weight: Falling oil prices drive sector development
- Interview: Dermot Mannion, Former Deputy Chairman, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB)
- Change in the air: The flag carrier looks forward after a major overhaul
- Avoiding gridlock: The government is searching for ways to reduce the population’s car dependency

11. Construction & Real Estate
- Thinking big: A new manufacturing hub and a bridge linking both sides of the country promise to bring big economic benefits
- Part of the community: The Sultanate is benefitting from new agreements and commitments within the region
- Interview: Bobby Chua, Vice-Chairman, Swee
- Renovations under way: Development plans for Bandar Seri Begawan are set to create new opportunities
- House and home: Changes in property ownership laws affect the real estate market

12. Agriculture
- Seeds of growth: The Sultanate is exploring diverse means of assuring food security, including agro-industry and rice cultivation
- Interview: Dato Ali Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism
- Fruits of the sea: Fishing and aquaculture hold great promise for the economy

13. Tourism & Culture
- Distinct advantages: Focusing on key niches to increase tourism receipts as the government looks to boost the non-oil economy
- Opportunity awaits: The Sultanate is building on its Islamic tourism offering
- Interview: Mario Hardy, CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
- Preserving paradise: Temburong prepares for an influx of visitors
- China calling: A number of initiatives set to boost tourist numbers

14. Tax
- Refining the system: Useful tax updates for businesses
- Viewpoint: Shazali Sulaiman, Partner, KPMG Brunei Darussalam; and Chairman, Brunei Darussalam International Chambers of Commerce and Industry

15. Legal Framework
- Law of the land: A breakdown of the country’s legal environment
- Viewpoint: Colin Ong, Managing Partner, Dr Colin Ong Legal Services; and President, Arbitration Association Brunei Darussalam (AABD)

16. The Guide
- A good night’s sleep: Accommodation options
- Listings: Phone numbers for local services
- Facts for visitors: Useful information for new
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- Baiduri Bank
- Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD)
- Insurans Islam TAIB
- KPMG Brunei Darussalam
- Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
- Royal Brunei Airlines (RB)
- Swee
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown