Did you know more than half of Brunei’s income comes from its rich hydrocarbon resources? Though Brunei boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia, its economy largely depends on oil and gas revenues. This dependence makes the nation vulnerable to market fluctuations and international political turmoil. Brunei’s leadership sees diversification as the way forward for all-around growth and sustainable development of the Sultanate.
The government has earmarked five priority sectors to target growth viz downstream oil and gas, food, tourism, information & communications technology (ICT), and services. Experts believe that Brunei can truly achieve its diversification goals by pushing tourism, logistics, high-tech manufacturing, and financial services.
Brunei’s rich cultural heritage, architecture, beautiful beaches, and awe-inspiring rainforests make it a great place to explore and holiday. The country offers a secure environment for visitors to experience the enigmatic Sultanate. Tourism can help bring foreign exchange reserves to the economy and generate employment opportunities.
The nation lies on one of the busiest waterways in the world, allowing it to enable trade and become a logistics hub. Brunei has a 161-kilometre coastline facing the South China Sea, six ports, and several harbours. It has set up the Terunjing Free Trade Zone to boost opportunities in logistics.
Brunei aims to become a high-tech manufacturing centre. It has set up Free Trading Zones (FTZs) to facilitate foreign investors. The Sultanate believes that setting up high-tech manufacturing units will foster advanced skillsets in the citizens and make them future-ready.
The development of the financial services sector is one of the top priorities of Brunei. The country aspires to become pivotal in extending niche Islamic financial services to international clients besides honing its financial sector workforce.
The above four sectors can help Brunei diversify its economy and inch closer to its national vision – Wawasan Brunei 2035.