Economy

Brunei Darussalam Economy

A high-income country with vast petroleum wealth, robust fiscal reserves and a small, highly- educated population, Brunei Darussalam is unique among the ASEAN community. Oil and gas resources have generated high per-capita income, although the economy has contracted in recent years as a result of falling oil and gas prices, which account for more than 90% of export revenues. Although historically high energy prices and prudent policy making have left the Sultanate well-positioned to weather short-term market shocks, productivity has been sluggish and the economy’s dependency on oil and gas production is a concern for the government. As such, Brunei Darussalam has launched a number of reforms in recent years aimed at attracting new foreign direct investment; developing the high-tech, agricultural and manufacturing industries; supporting small and medium-sized enterprises; and encouraging private sector growth. This chapter contains an interview with Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance and Chairman, Brunei Economic Development Board (BEBD); and a viewpoint from Andrew Robb, the Australian Government’s Special Envoy for Trade.