In 1999 the value of Brunei's exports reached US$2.55 billion, while imports were valued at US$1.3 billion. The country's export trade is dominated by petroleum products. In 1998 crude oil and partly refined petroleum accounted for an estimated 39 percent of total exports and natural gas for 49 percent. By far the most important export market is Japan, which took 42 percent of Brunei's exports in 1999, followed by the United States (17 percent), South Korea (14 percent), and Thailand (3 percent).
Since only a few non-oil products are produced locally, Brunei has to rely exclusively on imports for nearly all of its manufactured goods and most of its food. Singapore is the largest supplier of imported goods, accounting for 34 percent in 1999. The United Kingdom and Malaysia both provided 15 percent of imports, while the United States provided 5 percent. As in many other countries, Japanese products such as motor vehicles, construction
|Trade (expressed in millions of US$): Brunei Darussalam|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (September 2000) .|
|Exchange rates: Brunei Darussalam|
|Bruneian dollars (B$) per US$1|
|Note: The Bruneian dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
equipment, electronic goods, and household appliances dominate Brunei's local markets.
Although Brunei enjoyed a positive trade balance (a trade surplus ) throughout the late 1990s, that surplus has been shrinking. This phenomenon was caused by reduced earnings from petroleum and an increase in imports due to a demand for higher living standards.