Market Research in Brunei
Brunei’s Trends/Customer Base
Brunei is a small country in the South Sea. It is part of the largest island in Asia, Borneo, and lies near some countries belonging to the Malaysian Federation. Its rainforests and beaches are well known. It has a total land area of over two thousand square miles.
Brunei is one of the smallest yet wealthiest states globally, with a high standard of living. It is home to about half a million people, and the state pays for healthcare and education. Brunei has one of the most educated populaces in the world because of this. Citizens are not required to pay any taxes. Only companies and organizations pay taxes.
While the Malaysians are the majority, it is also home to a thriving Chinese community. They have a presence in many of the businesses in the city center.
The capital of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, is home to the only Chinese temple. Although Brunei is very wealthy, the simplicity of that city can come as a shock.
Brunei was the first country in East Asia to adopt Islamic law in 2014. Oil and gas are Brunei’s primary products after significant deposits surfaced in 1929. These products are the mainstay of Brunei’s economy, and Brunei is in the best location to build oil and gas industries. More than half of the GDP comes from oil and gas. They account for almost all total exports. Experts expect Brunei’s oil reserve to run out in the next 20 years.
To cut its dependence on hydrocarbons, Brunei has developed a strategy.
Brunei Vision 2035
Brunei has seen a recession for three years and is looking for other sources of income. The country plans to:
- End reliance on Hydrocarbon Exports
- Promotion of Business, Tourism, Infrastructure, and Environment
- Promotion of social security
Brunei’s government aimed to increase the tourist industry from over 218,000 to 451,000 in the year 2020. Covid-19 has disrupted that goal as traveling became limited due to the outbreak.
Brunei’s Sultan is among the wealthiest monarchs in the world. Since he completed 50 years in power, Brunei’s people recognize the Sultan as a popular leader. But the resources that made him rich are running out. China has begun to help the nation, and the Asian giant is Brunei’s largest foreign investor. Beijing has invested around 4.1 million dollars in Brunei.
Western financial giants like Citibank have left Brunei, but some Chinese banks recently set up there. They are helping in foreign direct investments. Chinese firms are investing as well into Brunei’s telecommunication and agriculture industries.
The sultanate has a high unemployment rate and recently announced budget cuts. Brunei has also experienced territorial disputes. Disputes have arisen between China and Brunei over the South China Sea. Brunei has been quiet over the issue in recent years.
Brunei has an outstanding reputation for political stability. The leading monarchy tracked back to 600 years ago when the first Sultan came in power in 1363.
Brunei as a Gateway to Southeast Asia
Any country that collaborates with Brunei would find a benefit. The country’s goal of bridging with Southeast Asia would involve productive engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Brunei did not establish diplomatic relations with India until 1984. The governments before then did not see the potential of a connection. The re-election of India’s Modi could help with the rekindling of the India-Brunei relations.
China relations with Brunei
China and Brunei have sustained their friendship for over a thousand years through trade and cultural exchanges. Today the Chinese make up over 20 percent of Brunei’s population.
Would you like to find out more? SIS International conducts Qualitative, Quantitative, and Strategy Research in the Brunei market. Methods include Focus Groups, Social Media Interviews, and Surveys. Contact us now for a consultation to find out how we can help you expand your business.