Brunei is an oil and gas-based economy, which produced
on average 180,000 bpd Petroleum during 2002. Brunei's
plans are to maintain this production level. With
the recent deep-sea water exploration opportunities,
it has been estimated that the reserves could last
at least another thirty years. In terms of revenues,
those derived from oil and gas are roughly equal.
Brunei also receives substantial earnings from overseas
investments via the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA).
The Government has initiated several changes aimed
at widening the economic base. These include the
restructuring of the Ministry of Industry and Primary
Resources (MIPR) that has led to the establishment
of the Brunei Industrial Development Authority (BINA).
| The Brunei International Financial Centre (BIFC)
has also been established over the last few years
and at present they have registered 370 companies
on their database. BIFC are in the process of launching
a virtual Stock Exchange, which is to take place
by end of September 2002. The Government also recently
established Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB)
to attract investment and to look at possible sectors
for diversifying Brunei's economy.
The Government's vision is to make Brunei a Service
Hub for Trade and Tourism (SHUTT) principally for
the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian
growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Brunei participates fully
in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN),
Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) and the
World Trade Organization (WTO). The International,
Malay, Chinese and the Indian Chambers are all active.
With a total population of 340,000, the Bruneian
working population is estimated at 80,000 and the
Government employs approximately 65% of this work
force. There are also about 60,000 foreign workers