brunei

The economy of Brunei, a small and wealthy country, is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation and welfare measures, and village traditions. It is almost entirely supported by exports of crude oil and natural gas, with revenues from the petroleum sector accounting for over half of GDP. Per capita GDP is high, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes food and housing.

The following tables and chart will tell the change details in last 5-10 years:

Brunei Distribution of GDP across economic sectors:

Sector20152016201720182019
Agriculture1.1%1.2%1.09%1.02%0.99%
Industries61.36%57.29%59.72%63.24%62.52%
Services39.43%42.98%40.85%37.34%38.18%

Here attached the last 10 years chart of Brunei GDP: (amount in billion USD):

3 Sectors of the Economy – Agriculture, Industry and Services:

  • Agriculture:

Agriculture is not an important part in the Brunei’s economy. It employs almost 1.95% of the total workforce and contributed almost 0.99% in GDP.

Brunei is nearly self-sufficient in vegetables, but only 1 percent of the nation’s rice is produced locally. The production of tropical fruits is being encouraged. Cattle—both beef and dairy—buffalo, and goat rearing are also being promoted. Pig farming has been banned since 1993, but the country is self-sufficient in egg production and nearly self-sufficient in poultry.

Agriculture Subsidy in Brunei

Agriculture subsidies rose 40 per cent to $7 million for the 2017/18 financial year as part of the government’s efforts to develop Brunei’s agricultural and agrifood sectors.

The government provides a 50 percent subsidy off the market price for fertilizer, pesticides and machinery, and also can provide agricultural infrastructure.

The government is pushing more farmers to adopt modern green farming technology and techniques — such as vertical farming, greenhouses, hydroponics, and fertigation — to boost productivity and reduce unit costs.

  • Industries:

Industries plays an important part in the Brunei’s economy. It accounts for 62.52% of the GDP and employed almost 56.6% of the workforce.

Major Industries in this Sector:

Oil and Gas: Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), a joint venture owned in equal shares by the Brunei Government and the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies, is the chief oil and gas production company in Brunei. It also operates the country’s only refinery. BSP and four sister companies constitute the largest employer in Brunei after the government. Almost all of Brunei’s natural gas is liquefied at Brunei Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, which opened in 1972 and is one of the largest LNG plants in the world. In 2020, more than 99% of produced electricity in Brunei was based on fossil fuels, while electricity produced from renewable energy accounted for less than 1%. Oil and natural gas account for almost 90 percent of Brunei’s exports. Other exports include machinery and transport equipment (5 percent) and chemicals (5 percent). The top exporter of Brunei oil and gas are Japan, Australia, Singapore, India and Malaysia.

  • Services:

Service sector is an important part in the Brunei economy. It contributes almost 38.18% in the GDP and employed almost 39.5% of the total Brunei’s workforce.

Major Industries in this Sector:

Finance: The contribution of financial services to the GDP was 26.4 percent in 2019. There are 9 banks operating in Brunei. The 2 largest foreign banks in the country are the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Standard Chartered Bank. There are a number of Malaysian banks and 3 locally incorporated banks: the Islamic Bank of Brunei (IBB), Baiduri Bank, and the Development Bank of Brunei (DBB). The financial sector also includes a number of locally incorporated and international finance and insurance companies. The authorities have been preparing to implement a comprehensive financial regulatory system via the proposed new Banking Act.

Tourism: In 2019, contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (% of GDP) for Brunei Darussalam was 6.6 %. Though Brunei Darussalam contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (% of GDP) fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to decrease through 2000 – 2019 period ending at 6.6 % in 2019. Brunei recorded a total of 333,000 tourists in 2019, ranking 165th in the world in absolute terms. Most major tourist attractions in Brunei are Islamic mosques. Foreign, non-Muslim tourists in proper attire may enter mosques; women should cover their head, shoulders and knees. 

Top Companies in Brunei:

Company NameSectorRanking
Brunei LNGOil and Gas1
Autoriti Monetari Brunei DarussalamFinance2
Brunei Currency and Monetary BoardFinance3
Royal Brunei AirlinesAirlines4
Telekom BruneiTelecommunication5
Hua Ho Department StoreRetail6

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