Buoyed by hydrocarbon revenues, Brunei Darussalam’s economy has continued to grow, enabling a new push to greater diversification and creating job opportunities for locals. The government maintains strong fiscal and current account surpluses and is showing an appetite to direct this toward future growth and diversification. Indeed, with oil and gas making up more than two-thirds of the economy, the government is well aware of the dangers of overdependence on these commodities. As such, the plans are in place to diversify the economy, particularly in downstream industries, and bolster a private sector capable of generating jobs for Bruneians. Moving downstream into value-added segments and creating new industries and local SMEs should help balance the future economy.
This chapter contains interviews with Cham Prasidh, Cambodian Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce; Dato Ali Apong, Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, and Chairman of Brunei Economic Board; and John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs.