Business Profile

Economy : Bruneiís economy depends on its oil and natural gas deposits, which are mostly offshore, and its investments. Although these are not extensive by world standards, Bruneiís small population enjoys a very high standard of living. The government has made recent efforts to diversify the economy, mainly by providing tax concessions on foreign investment; timber, paper, fertilisers, petrochemicals and glass are the most promising candidates for development in the growing industrial sector. However, these have been fairly limited to date. Some 15 per cent of the land is under cultivation, with rice, cassava and fruit as the main crops. Japan, which takes half of the oil produced by Brunei, is the countryís largest single trading partner, followed by Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Brunei belongs to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and subscribes to its major projects, including the plan to establish a free-trade zone among member states in around 2010/2015. In 1995, Brunei joined the IMF and World Bank, making available technical and consultative advice from those institutions (it hardly needs their financial support). The Asian financial crisis in 1997 had little effect on Brunei, because of the countryís lack of indebtedness. However, it has since become apparent that a substantial proportion of the countryís financial resources, which are under the exclusive control of the royal family, have been dissipated through individual profligacy.

Business : Suits are recommended. Business visits are best made outside the monsoon season (between November and December). The services of a translator will not normally be required as English is widely spoken. Office hours : Mon-Thurs 0745-1215 and 1330-1630, Sat 0900-1200. Government office hours : Mon-Thurs and Sat 0745-1215 and 1330-1630.

Commercial Information :
The following organizations can offer advice: Brunei Darussalam International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 2285, Bandar Seri Begawan (tel : (2) 226 000); or National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Brunei Darussalam, PO Box 115, Bandar Seri Begawan, BS8670 (tel : (2) 243 321-2; fax : (2) 228 737; e-mail :; website :

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Information provided by Brunei Tourism Board.


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