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Overview

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 in Brunei.

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