Brunei export performance

CHART: Brunei exports 2018-2023

Eksport Brunei 2023 文莱2023年出口 ブルネイの輸出2023
Department of Economic Planning and Statistics

The Brunei export market is heavily reliant on mineral products, particularly oil and gas, with global oil prices significantly impacting performance. However, the chemicals sector has seen remarkable growth, likely due to the success of Hengyi Industries. Hengyi Industries, a joint Brunei-China venture, has achieved significant milestones since 2020. Their oil refinery and petrochemical plant on Pulau Muara Besar generated a substantial US$3.5 billion in revenue, contributing significantly to Brunei’s GDP and trade volume. This not only supported Brunei’s economic diversification goals outlined in Wawasan 2035 but also contributed substantially to the growth of the downstream sector.

Beyond supplying fuel products for the domestic market, Hengyi Industries plays a strategic role in enhancing the value chain by exporting surplus refined products and producing feedstock for its facilities in China. This highlights Brunei’s efforts to move beyond solely exporting raw materials.

CHART: Exports from manufactured goods and machinery

Eksport pembuatan dan jentera Brunei 2018-2023 文莱2018-2023年制造业和机械出口 ブルネイ製造業および機械輸出2018-2023
Department of Economic Planning and Statistics

Brunei’s manufacturing exports have been volatile, particularly during the COVID-19 period (2020-2021). While some recovery has occurred, it remains limited compared to the oil and gas sector and its growing derivatives industries. Brunei has yet to fully capitalize on this by developing further downstream products from its oil and gas resources, which could create a more stable and diversified export market. This presents an opportunity for Brunei to invest in industries that utilize these resources to create higher-value goods and reduce its dependence on volatile global oil prices.

Overview of Brunei Industry

Brunei Darussalam’s economy is heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry, which accounts for over 50% of its GDP and over 90% of its exports. The country is a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and its oil reserves are estimated to last for another 25 years. Brunei is one of the wealthiest countries in Southeast Asia, with a high standard of living and a well-developed infrastructure.

The government plays a dominant role in the economy, with state-owned enterprises and government-linked companies being the main drivers of growth. The financial sector is relatively small but is expanding rapidly, with Islamic banking playing an increasingly important role. The country has also been making efforts to diversify its economy, with a focus on developing its tourism, agriculture, and services sectors.

In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Brunei’s economy, particularly on its oil and gas industry. However, the government’s strong financial position and proactive measures to contain the virus have helped to mitigate the impact. Going forward, the Sultanate will continue to face challenges in diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports.

Industrial policy of Brunei

The country has established several industrial parks to attract foreign investment and promote exports. One of the most prominent is the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK), which covers an area of 271 hectares and is located near Brunei’s major oil and gas fields. SPARK offers various facilities and incentives to investors, including tax exemptions, land leases, and infrastructure support.

Brunei’s industrial exports include refined petroleum, chemicals, and wooden furniture. In recent years, the country has been making efforts to expand its exports to other countries and diversify its manufacturing base. To achieve this, Brunei has been developing partnerships with other countries to increase investment and technological transfer.

Overall, Brunei’s industrial sector is well developed, thanks to its abundant natural resources and government initiatives to diversify the economy. The establishment of industrial parks and partnerships with foreign countries has enabled the country to promote exports and attract foreign investment.

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