Market Profile

  • Population: 0.4 million about 50% below 40
  • GDP (2020): USD 12.02 billion
  • Government: Absolute monarchy or sultanate
  • Main Language: Malay
  • Currency: Brunei Dollar (BND)
  • World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank: 66

Why Brunei?

  • Strategically located at the heart of Southeast Asia and along the East-West maritime trade route, Brunei’s easy connectivity to the growing economies within the region makes it an ideal location for export-oriented activities
  • Brunei offers investors readily available industrial sites with supporting infrastructure in order to facilitate the establishment of new industrial investments in Brunei
  • Attractive investment incentives 


Doing Business in Brunei

    • Brunei Darussalam is a Southeast Asian, oil-rich Sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo.
    • Despite repeated calls for diversification, Brunei’s economy remains overwhelmingly dependent on the income derived from the sale of oil and gas, which represents 90% of Brunei’s total exports and 65 % of the country’s GDP.
    • Brunei’s central location in Southeast Asia, with good telecommunications and airline connections; no personal income, sales or export taxes; and its stable political situation, offer a welcoming climate for would-be investors.

    Impact of COVID-19

    • Since its first reported case on March 9, 2020, the sultanate has suffered some 141 confirmed cases with only three deaths; the remaining 138 victims are in recovery as of July 8, 2020.
    • As a welfare state, Brunei was relatively well prepared for a pandemic. Historically, the government has prioritised the investment of its oil revenues into the medical sector. Bruneians receive free access to state-of-the-art healthcare throughout their lives and, as a result, Brunei already had the necessary infrastructure in place to treat the virus.
    • As an oil-rich rentier economy, Brunei’s private sector has generally remained weak. Early on in the crisis, Brunei announced policy initiatives to support the private sector and encourage e-commerce.
    • The government has also expanded its grant program for e-commerce small businesses in order to prepare the economy for future pandemic shocks. Certainly, the virus has become an opportunity to harness the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Main Industries in Brunei

Top 5 Main Export Partners

Top 5 Main Import Products in Brunei

  • In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report, Brunei is ranked 66th out of 190 world economies, with improved rankings highlighting the country’s recent efforts in improving its business regulations. Nonetheless, foreign companies will likely experience challenges in the following areas:

    • Inefficient government bureaucracy
    • Limited access to financing
    • A small labour force with narrow skill sets that are geared primarily to the oil and gas sector. Regulations are relatively restrictive regarding the employment of foreign workers.
  • Brunei has a stable political climate and is generally sheltered from natural disasters. Brunei’s central location in Southeast Asia, with good telecommunications and airline connections, business tax credits in specified sectors, and no income, sales, or export taxes, offers a welcoming climate for potential investors.
  • Brunei has an open economy favorable to foreign trade and FDI as it continues to diversify its economy away from its long-term reliance on oil and gas exports.  
  • FDI is important to Brunei as it plays a key role in the country’s economic and technological development. Brunei encourages FDI in the domestic economy through various investment incentives offered by the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
  • The World Bank Ease of Doing Business report indicated that Brunei ranked 66th overall out of 190 world economies in 2019. Brunei ranked first in the report’s “Getting Credit” category, tied with New Zealand, indicative of Brunei’s strong credit reporting mechanisms.
  • With an estimated population of 459,500 in 2019, Brunei’s local market is relatively small. Foreign enterprises are allowed 100% ownership of business scope, operation, and investment. As such, foreign investors are not required to find a local partner to enter the market. 
  • However, in certain cases, foreign companies may be required to find a local partner to qualify for certain government and Brunei Shell Petroleum projects. 
  • There is no restriction on foreign ownership of companies incorporated in Brunei. The Companies Act requires locally incorporated companies to have at least one of the two directors—or if more than two directors, at least two of them—to be ordinarily resident in Brunei, but exemptions may be obtained in some circumstances.
  • Companies should build relationships with local representatives and customers through regular visits or by establishing resident representation.

  • Brunei holds only 4.22% of Southeast Asia’s oil and gas reserves and was ranked 39th by reserves of natural gas and 43rd by reserves of crude oil in the world as of 2020
  • The oil reserve to production (r/p) ratio stands at 24.8 years, while its gas r/p ratio is 18 years as of 2019
  • The oil production in Brunei was around 116 thousand barrels per day in the year 2020. In the previous year, the oil production was higher with the country producing 125 barrels per day
  • Brunei’s crude oils exports was reported at 106.917 barrels per day in 2019 and it has been increasing from the previous year, which 91.917 barrels per day in 2018
  • As of July 2021, Brunei’s gas production was ranked 5th after Myanmar with 6.20% in Southeast Asia and ranked 39th in the world as of 2018




Ministry of Energy

  • Energy In-Country Value Division under MOE aims to ensure the sustainable development of capacities and competitiveness of local contractors and suppliers to support the oil and gas industries
  • The division issues services such as:
    • Foreign Worker License (LPA)
    • Special Authorization Work Pass (SAWP)
    • Professional Visit Visa (PVV)
    • Local Business Development (LBD) Reporting

Brunei Economic Development Board

  • Acts as a frontline agency to facilitate foreign investment into the country
  • Assist in providing information on the local investment climate, developmental requirements, laws and regulations, cost of doing business and project specific information.
  • Promotes Brunei Darussalam as the preferred investment destination for the five priority business areas, namely Downstream Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Food, Tourism, Info-Communications Technology.

Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam

  • Provides the establishment of Petroleum Authority (PA), a statutory body, acting as a central authority (regulator) to regulate and supervise the oil and gas operations in Brunei
  • Promote and maintain the security of petroleum supplies and resilience of petroleum sector
  • Act as a State Party (negotiate, conclude, make, implement, supervise and enforce a petroleum mining Agreement)
  • Grant financing, guarantee repayment of subsidiary or a company PA is a member in


Brunei Shell Petroleum

Largest oil and gas producer in Brunei Darussalam

Murphy Oil Corporation

Operates two blocks in offshore Brunei

Total E&P Borneo B.V

Operates Block B offshore Brunei with 37.5% interest.

Petronas Carigali Brunei Limited

  • Operates four blocks in offshore Brunei 

Shell Deepwater Borneo Limited

Major operator in Block CA1 offshore Brunei with 86.9% interest


Holds a working interest in deepwater Block CA-2 PSC

OGSE Companies

Icon Bahtera (Brunei) Sdn Bhd

Provides charter of DP2 accommodation workboat – Icon Kayra to support operations in Brunei

Petroline Group

Charter of accommodation and maintenance vessel- MWV Falgout for offshore operations in Brunei

SPHI Marine Sdn Bhd

Provides maintenance service for three-terminal rotor tugboats and one Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel

PTAS Sdn Bhd

Provide offshore maintenance and modification services to maintain production levels for more than 200 offshore assets in Brunei



Sapura Energy Bhd

Installation of wellhead platforms and pipelines and the removal of wellhead platforms

SynergenOG Sdn Bhd

Providing training on process and operations safety management consultancy

Vantage Energy Group

Integrated multi-discipline technical services provider in well services, completions and well testing

Icon Offshore Berhad

Provides charter of DP2 Accommodation Workboat - Icon Kayra to support operations in Brunei

Wasco Energy

Constructed and installed Field Auxiliary Room (FAR) for Brunei LNG Project, Brunei 

High Commission of Malaysia
No. 61, Simpang 336 Jalan Kebangsaan
Bandar Seri Begawan

Email: mwbrunei@kln.gov.my
Tel: +673-2381096 /97
Web: www.kln.gov.my/web/brn_begawan

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
Lot C5.2A, Tingkat 5,
Blok C, Bangunan KWSP,
Jalan Karamunsing,
88100 Kota Kinabalu

Name: Ms. Noor Azian Romlan
Email: sabah@matrade.gov.my
Tel: +06-088-240 881
Web: www.matrade.gov.my