Brunei Darussalam has a significant business potential that has yet to be exploited. The country has the advantage of a stable political environment, which is clearly favourable for business activities. Brunei has a small but wealthy economy and has remained stable with an average inflation rate of 1.5% over the past twenty years.
The Islamic Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is located on the north-west coast of the island of Borneo and is completely surrounded by Malaysia. The economy has been dominated by the oil and liquefied natural gas industries. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of GDP.
- Head of State: His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
- Capital city: Bandar Seri Begawan
- Total population: 423,000
- Languages: Malay, English, Chinese
- Religions: Muslim 78%, Buddhist 7%, Christian 8%
- Monetary unit: Brunei Dollar (BND)
- Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, timber
- Major exports: Crude oil, natural gas, garments
- Major imports: Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, iron & steel, motor vehicles, gold
Brunei joined ASEAN in January 1984. It has particularly strong ties with the UK, Singapore and regional countries, which have led to considerable commercial activity. The UK was the third largest exporter to Brunei in 2009, with goods and services exports totalling £129m.
Under its 2001 Investment Incentives Order, prospective investors enjoy a wide range of motivators including: up to a possible 20 years exemption from corporate tax; exemption from import duties taxes on raw materials, machinery, equipment, component parts, accessories or building structures; and adjustment of capital allowance and losses.
As a young nation, there are plenty of opportunities in Brunei. Aside from the energy sector which includes renewable, energy efficiency and conservation, there is potential for opportunities in eco-tourism, recreation and sports, creative industries, consumer goods, waste management, food and agriculture, ICT, education and vocational training.