This small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition.
Crude oil and natural gas production account for about 90% of its GDP. About 167,000 barrels of oil are produced every day, making Brunei the fourth largest producer of oil in South-east Asia. It also produces approximately 895 million cubic feet of liquified natural gas per day, making Brunei the ninth-largest exporter of the substance in the world.
Substantial income from overseas investment supplements with income from domestic production. Most of these investments are made by the Brunei Investment Agency, an arm of the Ministry of Finance. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing. The national air carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, is trying to make Brunei a modest hub for international travel between Europe and Australia/New Zealand. Central to this strategy is the position that the airline maintains at London Heathrow Airport. It holds a daily slot at the highly capacity-controlled airport, which it serves from Bandar Seri Begawan via Dubai. The airline also has services to major Asian destinations including Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore and Manila.
Brunei depends heavily on imports such as agricultural products (e.g. rice, food products, livestock, etc.), motorcars and electrical products from other countries. Brunei Darussalam imports 60% of its food requirements, which around 75% of those food imports come from the ASEAN countries.
Brunei's leaders are very concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion although it became a more prominent player by serving as chairman for the 2000 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Stated plans for the future include upgrading the labour force, reducing unemployment, which currently stands at 6%, strengthening the banking and tourism sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base.
To achieve its target for food self-sufficiency, Brunei renamed its Brunei Darussalam Rice 1 to Laila Rice during the launch of the "Padi Planting Towards Achieving Self-Sufficiency of Rice Production in Brunei Darussalam" ceremony at the Wasan padi fields in April 2009. In August 2009, the Royal Family reaped the first few Laila padi stalks, after years of multiple attempts to boost local rice production, a goal which was envisioned about half a century ago. In July 2009 Brunei launched its national halal branding scheme, Brunei Halal, with an aim to export to foreign markets.
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Famous quotes containing the word economy:
“Unaware of the absurdity of it, we introduce our own petty household rules into the economy of the universe for which the life of generations, peoples, of entire planets, has no importance in relation to the general development.”
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