- Brunei Darussalam launched the Brunei Financial Blueprint in early January 2021, which offers pointers on how the nation can develop a dynamic and sustainable economic system.
- The blueprint is a part of the federal government’s Brunei Imaginative and prescient 2035, which goals to diversify the nation’s economic system away from petroleum, which contributes to 95 p.c of exports.
- The blueprint focuses on highlighting the significance of reskilling the labor drive, in search of open commerce insurance policies, and selling a conducive enterprise setting, amongst others.
In early January 2021, Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Finance and Financial system launched the Brunei Economic Blueprint, which offers pointers for the nation to attain the third purpose of the Brunei Vision 2035 technique — growing a dynamic and sustainable economic system.
Vison 2035 was inaugurated by the Sultan in 2007, with the goal of reworking Brunei by way of three objectives:
- Goal 1: The accomplishments of its extremely educated and expert folks;
- Goal 2: Offering among the finest high quality of life on the earth for its folks; and
- Goal 3: Creating a dynamic and sustainable economic system.
The financial blueprint will concentrate on ‘six aspirations’ particularly:
- Creating a productive and enterprise setting by leveraging know-how and innovation;
- To advertise steady studying, coaching, and reskilling of the workforce;
- Make sure the economic system is open and globally linked;
- Guarantee preservation of the setting;
- Develop infrastructure to assist and develop companies; and
- Guarantee good governance and public service excellence.
The nation goals to diversify its economic system away from oil and gasoline, which contributes to 95 p.c of export earnings, reworking the small nation on the island of Borneo into the fifth richest nation on the earth with a GDP per capita of US$61,000 based mostly on PPP in 2020.
It’s due to this excessive dependence on the oil and gasoline sector that poses main dangers to the economic system within the medium-to-long time period. Dangers to the sector embody disruptions in oil and gasoline manufacturing, geopolitical dangers, and the slowdown in main international economies amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and commerce tensions.
Aspiration 1: Creating a productive and enterprise setting
The federal government is seeking to prioritize 5 precedence sectors to spearhead financial growth. These are:
- Downstream oil and gasoline;
- Data and communication know-how (ICT); and
The federal government will promote native micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) — which represent 90 p.c of complete enterprises — to be extra export-orientated, in addition to encourage companies to leverage rising applied sciences and innovation to extend productiveness and competitiveness.
By means of this, the federal government hopes Brunei could be a gorgeous overseas direct funding (FDI) vacation spot in ASEAN, which in flip will assist create significant, high-value employment for its native workforce.
Aspiration 2: Promote steady studying, coaching, and reskilling of the workforce
The financial blueprint goals to make sure that Brunei’s workforce is ‘future-ready’, by way of steady reskilling to satisfy trade demand.
Digital inclusiveness shall be made accessible in training and coaching applications for all residents, together with mid-career employees.
Different coverage instructions embody strengthening analysis and growth capability to assist industrial growth. The Brunei Research Council was established to encourage analysis within the fields of:
- Science, know-how, and engineering;
- Social science; and
- Arts and tradition.
The federal government hopes this blueprint will deal with unemployment among the many youth cohort, which is taken into account to be the best in ASEAN at near 30 p.c.
Aspiration 3: An open and globally linked economic system
Brunei has proven its dedication to take part in open commerce insurance policies with its regional and international companions.
As a member of ASEAN, the nation is now a member of the not too long ago signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free commerce settlement (FTA) — touted because the world’s largest commerce bloc.
As well as, the nation is a part of the next FTAs:
- ASEAN Free Commerce Space (AFTA);
- ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Commerce Space (AANZFTA);
- ASEAN-China Free Commerce Space (ACFTA);
- ASEAN-India Free Commerce Settlement (AIFTA);
- ASEAN-Japan Complete Financial Partnership (AJCEP);
- ASEAN-Korea Free Commerce Settlement (AKFTA);
- Brunei-Japan Financial Cooperation Partnership Settlement (BJEPA); and
- Trans-Pacific Strategic Financial Partnership Settlement (TPSEP/P4).
Brunei was ranked 149 out of 190 in 2019 within the World Financial institution’s ‘Buying and selling Throughout Borders’ class – it’s keen to enhance this rating by way of sectoral reforms and enhancing commerce amenities for companies.
Aspiration 4: Sustainable setting
This aspiration goals to not solely protect Brunei’s setting but additionally develop inexperienced initiatives that may contribute to financial growth.
Some 72 p.c of the nation is roofed in pristine rainforest, and 58 p.c of that is conserved underneath the Heart of Borneo initiative. This initiative is a government-led and NGO program aimed to preserve Borneo’s biodiversity, which accounts for six p.c of world biodiversity.
The federal government will promote analysis and growth for environmentally pleasant and resource-efficient applied sciences, along with selling investments in additional inexperienced industries. The federal government can even restrict any land and environmental degradation for financial growth actions.
Aspiration 5: Infrastructure growth
The drive for financial diversification has led to vital spending in numerous infrastructure tasks all through the nation from industrial parks to telecom to the nationwide transport community.
The federal government will proceed to enhance land, sea, and air connectivity to spice up productiveness, in addition to the uninterrupted provide of water and electrical energy to houses and companies. Already 100% of the inhabitants has entry to electrical energy.
As a part of the blueprint, industrial websites shall be ‘infrastructure prepared’ and new developments shall be strategically positioned close to ports and highway networks. The federal government goals to attain this by way of public-private partnerships (PPP).
ICT infrastructure readiness and accessibility is one other space the federal government is seeking to put together for growing a digital economic system. Fastened broadband connections for households and companies reached 51 p.c in 2019.
Aspiration 6: Good governance and public service excellence
Making certain accountable and clear governance shall be an vital driver of social fairness, inclusivity, and political stability in Brunei.
This implies the free circulate of data between authorities, companies, and residents and a powerful authorized system that ensures independence, and equity in its provisions.
The federal government can even proceed to replace and reform laws that implement international requirements and that promote a extra conducive enterprise setting.
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