Lodged between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam is located on the north-west coast of Borneo, in the South China Sea. The Sultanate has a young population, with around 54% of Bruneians under the age of 30. The country also has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the region, hitting just over $48,000. This ranks Brunei Darussalam second only to Singapore within the 10-nation ASEAN bloc. The main language is Malay, although English is widely spoken and is the principle language of business. Much of the nation’s revenue comes from oil and natural gas, but other resources include timber and aquaculture. Free health care and education are testaments to the government’s dedication to the populace’s wellbeing. However, to sustain this success, the government has realised the need to increase value-added, downstream services within the oil and gas industry while developing industries outside the energy sector.
This chapter contains interviews with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Kim Sung-Hwan, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs ad Trade, as well as a viewpoint from Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.