Brunei Darussalam - Overview of economy

Brunei is a wealthy oil-rich country in Southeast Asia. Oil and natural gas have been the basis of the country's wealth. Dependency on this single valuable commodity has made it vulnerable to international market fluctuations, however, and the government has been making efforts to diversify the economy. The economy is dominated by the oil and gas sector, but large-scale government expenditure on infrastructure programs has made the construction sector the second largest economic sector in Brunei. The country's main exports are oil and gas products, but it must import most of its food.

Brunei has a limited labor force . Most ethnic Malays work in the public sector administration and government departments and enjoy substantial benefits, but the Malay labor force is limited in number. The country hosts a large number of foreign skilled and unskilled workers, especially in the construction sector. In order to maintain the leadership of Brunei Malays, government policies protect and promote Malays involved in industry and commerce.

The government of Brunei has very large foreign reserves from oil, no foreign debt , and is a significant international investor. The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) manages foreign reserves for the government

(excluding the ruling sultan and other members of the royal family). The BIA tries to increase the value of Brunei's foreign reserves by spreading its investments across the United States, Japan, Western Europe, and the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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