Aerial view of Bandar Seri Begawan CBD
The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, through its Vision 2035, has set out the directions for its economic goals with a growing emphasis on attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) as an important driver of growth, focusing mainly on economic activities which spawn new knowledge, new industries, new technologies, new markets, as well as new business and employment opportunities for its people.
Brunei is a government-sector driven economy and the country’s efforts to diversify its economy presents an opportunity for business and investment as the country, in addition to fostering a conducive business and investment environment, also established incentives such as tax relief and assistance in banking, as well as Small And Medium Enterprises (SMEs) financing schemes.
The petroleum industry currently makes up close to 67 per cent of Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic product, represents close to 90 per cent of the Government’s revenues, and contributes to a staggering 96 per cent of national exports, yet employs less than five per cent of the Brunei workforce.
A cargo ship loaded with freight docks at Muara Port
The national economic strategy is geared towards ensuring continued macroeconomic stability, high rates of economic growth, national economic competitiveness through policies that encourage productivity, economic openness and competition, investment in downstream oil and gas industries and other economic clusters selected on the basis of Brunei Darussalam’s competitive strengths, raising of export potential and employment opportunities for locals, and world class infrastructure for attracting foreign and domestic investment in new export industries.
In this quest towards economic diversification as a means to reduce the heavy reliance on the nation’s oil and gas resources as the main source of income, and to increase job opportunities, the government has embarked on two main initiatives: firstly, the creation of an education system and training schemes to produce well-trained and highly-productive human resources who possess creative and entrepreneurial mindsets; and secondly, nurturing a business environment that is conducive to economic diversification and stimulates economic growth, besides drawing foreign direct investment.
Copyright 2015 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2015 All rights reserved.