• Economic News Updates

    Economic News Updates

    For each market we cover, OBG produces regular economic research available on our website, by email subscription and via RSS feed. Free to access, our Economic Updates are targeted at those looking for regular comment on key sector developments.

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With a growing population and expanding economy heaping the pressure on Brunei Darussalam’s water supply, the Sultanate has upped investment in storage and processing infrastructure, while also calling on its people to reduce consumption.

Brunei Darussalam has proven to be fertile ground for international food chains entering the domestic market, with an increasing number using franchising as a means to extend their roots and reach out to an enthusiastic clientele. As a result, their success is prompting calls for local businesses to use the same franchising vehicle to drive expansion overseas.

Efforts are under way to direct greater focus to Brunei Darussalam’s agriculture sector, in order to both improve food security and create a niche in the global market. Crude oil and natural gas production comprise 60% of GDP and more than 90% of exports, while the agriculture sector’s share of GDP is only 0.72% and employs just 1.4% of the population. To overcome its dependency on food imports, which account for 80% of the national food supply, the sultanate aims to achieve self-sufficiency by increasing capacity while continuing to specifically target halal foods.

Although declining oil production has had an effect on Brunei Darussalam’s recent economic performance, officials insist the reasons for the drop are short term in nature, while the country’s long-term prospects in the sector remain promising. Expansive government plans at home and a cooperation agreement with Timor-Leste abroad should give the sector a welcome fillip as well.

The 2014/15 budget for Brunei Darussalam, which came into effect on April 1, has a strong business focus, seeking to promote investment, stimulate and support private sector growth, and help provide the tools and skills needed to sustain economic development and diversity.

Proposed regulatory reforms are set to give a boost to Brunei Darussalam’s information and communications technology sector, an area of the economy that the government has targeted for growth.