As in many other oil and gas dependent countries, Brunei Darussalam—a country with a small population but the second highest income per capita in Southeast Asia—has been diversifying its economy in three sectors: from oil and gas to other sectors of export/economic growth; from the dominance of public sector employment to a more balanced public and private sectors employment; and from heavy dependence on foreign labours to development of local talents. This book examines the current socio-economic development in the journey toward a diversified social economy, as targeted in Brunei Vision 2035. By examining the unique context of Brunei, this book fills in the gap on studies focusing on socio-economic diversification. It highlights the importance of the environment, digital technology and human capital in the diversification process. The book culminates with analyses on business, economy, employment and welfare in Brunei toward 2035, with new a face: a digitalized, sustainable and self-reliant society with a highly developed human capital and a flourishing private sector.
"This is a very useful analysis of the challenges facing Brunei Darussalam as the country prepares itself for the 21st century. We are in an unprecedented period of human connectivity facilitated by an increasingly digitalised and high-tech world. The transition which the people, policy and business sectors have to undergo, and survive, is a fascinating learning journey for a small state. This book has succinctly highlighted the experiences we should pick up and apply where relevant for our respective countries going forward."
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman,
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and
the 11th Secretary-General of ASEAN
"This forward-looking study of the Brunei economy is timely and topical. Appropriately, the authors identify 'diversification' as the country's key economic challenge, in preparation for the exhaustion of oil reserves and as the world progressively decarbonises. To this end they set out a comprehensive reform agenda focused on education, the labour market, social policy, the development of non-oil industries, environmental objectives and much else. This is a very useful and informative guide not only for the Brunei government and society, but also for neighbouring ASEAN member states."
Professor Emeritus Hal Hill, Australian National University
"This collection fills a considerable gap in our knowledge of the socio-economic circumstances and developmental trajectories of Brunei Darussalam. In particular, it serves as a major and much needed contribution to our understanding of the challenges of economic diversification in an oil- and gas-dependent sultanate."
Professor Emeritus Victor T. King, University of Leeds
"This book aims to identify and discuss the various issues about, challenges faced by, and opportunities from Brunei’s diversification of her oil-dependent economy in response to the changing economic landscape at the national, regional and global levels. The various chapters provide a comprehensive analysis of the different sectors of Brunei’s economy, and the authors’ clear discussion of their arguments and justifications that are substantiated with relevant data and graphical illustrations, and a wide range of primary and secondary materials. I would like to congratulate the authors for this excellent book and recommend it to those who are interested in knowing and understanding Brunei’s economy."
Associate Professor Teofilo C. Daquila, National University of Singapore