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نݢارا بروني دار السلام

Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei Darussalam
Flag of Brunei
Brunei coat of arms
flag emblem
Motto : Brunei Darussalam
( Malay , "Brunei, home of peace")
Official language Malay
Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Form of government Hereditary monarchy
Government system Absolute Monarchy
Head of state , also head of government Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
surface 5,765 km²
population 464,478 (2020 estimate)
Population density 73.3 inhabitants per km²
Population development   +1.51% (2020)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 12.74 billion ( 130th )
  • $ 32.84 billion ( 125th )
  • 29,712 USD ( 31. )
  • 78,196 USD ( 5. )
Human Development Index   0.853 ( 39th ) (2018)
currency Brunei Dollar (BND)
independence January 1, 1984
(from the UK )
National anthem Allah Peliharakan Sultan
National holiday February 23 (celebration of independence)
Time zone UTC + 8
License Plate BRU
ISO 3166 BN , BRN, 096
Internet TLD .bn
Telephone code +673
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The Sultanate of Brunei (officially Brunei Darussalam , Malay Negara Brunei Darussalam ) is a state in Southeast Asia . It is located on the island of Borneo ( Indonesian Kalimantan ) in the South China Sea and borders Malaysia .

The national territory is the remainder of a historically much larger sultanate that covered almost the entire north coast of Borneo between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Abundant oil reserves combined with a small population and relative stability have made Brunei one of the richest countries in the world.


Translated into German, the Arabic term Darussalam means (دار السلام, DMG dāru s-salām ) as much as place of peace and, in the Islamic understanding, refers to any state whose legislation is based on Islamic law , the Sharia. Negara means state in Malay and the actual name of the country Brunei is related to Borneo .


Climate diagram Anduki (Brunei)

Brunei is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, facing the South China Sea. Its two parts of the country are separated by the Limbang valley, which belongs to the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak . Temburong , the poorly developed eastern part, is connected to the western part via the Temburong Bridge . The densely populated coastal area of ​​Brunei is followed by a flat hill country. There are extensive swamps in the west and northeast. Most of the rivers flow north to the coast, including the Belait , the longest river in the country. Only in the border area with Sarawak are there higher mountains, including the 1850 m high Bukit Pagon . The national territory is completely enclosed by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. So Brunei has only one neighbor, Malaysia . The length of the border with the neighbor is 381 km, that of the coastline 161 km.

Brunei has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and average temperatures of 27 ° C. The precipitation, which increases from approx. 2500 mm on the coast to 7500 mm inland, falls mainly in the time of the northeast monsoon from November to March. There is no dry season.

On the coast, the mangroves have largely disappeared due to oil production. Tropical rainforests occupy the sparsely populated interior. The fauna includes monkeys, reptiles and birds.


Video recordings from Brunei

The Bruneian state myth traces the existence of the state and its ruling family back to the year 1363. This year Sultan Awak Alak Betatar is said to have converted to Islam and is said to have founded the dynasty. However, this has not been proven historically. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Brunei ruled - among others under Sultan Bolkiah - in addition to the north coast of Borneo, the Sulu Archipelago and Palawan , which are now part of the Philippines . This phase is considered to be the heyday of the state of Brunei.

The Spanish navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano was the first European to reach Brunei in 1521 . Thereupon trade with the Europeans increased rapidly. Receipt? Conflicts with Spain culminated in the Castilian War in 1578 .

The first half of the 19th century was followed by a period of decline, accelerated by domestic disputes over the succession to the throne, the expansion of the European colonial powers and the increase in piracy . Brunei's regional influence dwindled. In 1842 the Sultan of Brunei gave the area of ​​Sarawak to the British Army Officer Sir James Brooke for his help in suppressing an uprising. He assumed the title of rajaz (king) and was able to gradually expand his territory at the expense of the sultan. Receipt? In 1847, when the island of Labuan fell to Great Britain, Brunei was almost reduced to its present size. Receipt? In the same year the British concluded the Anglo-Bruneian Treaty with Brunei , with which Brunei transferred its foreign policy sovereignty to the British Consul General in Borneo. On December 29, 1877, Sultan Abdul Mumin awarded the British North Borneo Chartered Company a concession for 15,000 Straits dollars and left today's Sabah to the trading company . Receipt?

Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB)

In 1888 the remaining sultanate became a British protectorate and was part of British North Borneo . In 1905 a power treaty was signed under which the Sultan was given British advisors whose advice was binding on the Sultan. Only in matters of religion did the sultan retain his own decision-making authority. In return, England guaranteed the continued existence of the dynasty. In 1929 petroleum was discovered in Seria, and in 1932 production by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. began. Brunei quickly became the third largest oil producer in the Commonwealth , the oil revenues and the protectorate allowed the ruling house to consolidate and overthrow competitors. From 1941 to 1945 Brunei was occupied by the Japanese army after the invasion of Borneo . In 1946 a civilian government took over again in Brunei and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III. took over the leadership of the country after the death of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin . In the 1950s, oil and gas began to be extracted off the coast of Brunei. The income from the sale of raw materials allowed the country to develop from an agricultural economy to a rent economy . At the same time, Brunei's neighbors, present-day Malaysia and present-day Indonesia , fought for their independence. In 1956, a party called the Brunei People's Party was formed in Brunei , which called for a merger of Sabah , Sarawak and Brunei under the leadership of the Sultan of Brunei. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III. preferred, however, to work towards unification with Malaysia; He rejected democratic participation. On September 29, 1959, under British pressure, the Sultan passed the first Brunei constitution . Among other things, this envisaged the formation of a Legislative Council as an indirectly elected parliament. In the same year a new protectorate treaty was signed, according to which the British retained sovereignty over Brunei's foreign and defense policy and internal security. Apart from that, Brunei was released into self-government. In the first elections to the Legislative Council, the opposition People's Party won almost all of the seats, but the Sultan continued to refuse to cooperate. In December 1962, the People's Party and its military arm, the National Army of North Kalimantan, revolted. He was crushed by British troops within a short time. The People's Party was banned and the Legislative Council dissolved. At the beginning of the 1960s, the population of Brunei comprised around 85,000, including 40,000 Malay , 25,000 Dayak , 18,000 Han and 2,000 Europeans and others.

In 1965 negotiations about a connection to Malaysia failed because one could not agree on the distribution of the income from the oil and natural gas production. The status of the Sultan of Brunei vis-à-vis the other Malay rulers also remained without agreement. Sultan Omar Saifuddien III. abdicated two years later in favor of his son Hassanal Bolkiah .

In January 1979 the British government under Prime Minister James Callaghan and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah signed the last protectorate treaty. It said that responsibility for internal security would be placed in Brunei hands and that Brunei should become an independent state on January 1, 1984. Since the complete takeover of power, Brunei has been a Malay-Islamic monarchy that acts with soft repression against critics and oppositionists and integrates the elite and middle class with generous benefits in a pension state ( co-optation ).

In August 1998, the Sultan of Brunei installed his eldest son, Prince al-Muhtadee Billah, as Crown Prince .


Population growth in Brunei from 1961 to 2005 (numbers in thousands)

The population of Brunei is very unevenly distributed, over 90% of the population live in the western part, 46,000 of them in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan alone. Other major cities in the country are Muara , Seria and their neighboring city of Kuala Belait .

In 2010 around 65 percent of the inhabitants of Brunei were “citizens”, so mostly Malays . About 20 percent of the citizens belong to indigenous peoples, above all Iban , who still live in characteristic long houses and practice their traditional religions . About 8 percent of Brunei's residents are "non-citizens". These are mainly ethnic Chinese who have unlimited residence permits and Bruneian travel documents, but who were denied citizenship when they gained independence in 1984. Another 27 percent of the residents of Brunei are citizens of other countries, especially workers from neighboring countries who only have a limited right of residence in Brunei.

For a long time the sultanate closed itself off to foreign influences, also to prevent illegal immigration. In 2017, 25.1% of the population were migrants. The most common countries of origin were Malaysia (50,000 people), Thailand (20,000) and the Philippines (10,000).

According to UN data, life expectancy in Brunei between 2010 and 2015 was 76.7 years (men: 75.1 years, women: 78.4 years).

The official language in the country is Malay , while English and Chinese are used as business languages .

Population development

year population
1950 048,000
1960 082,000
1970 130,000
1980 194,000
1990 259,000
2000 333,000
2010 389,000
2016 429,000


The 2001 census found that 75 percent of Brunei's residents are Muslim. The Sunni Islam of the Shafiite school of law , to which the Malays profess, is the state religion . About 9 percent of the population are Christian in Brunei (including the Catholic Church of Brunei ). About 8.5 percent profess Buddhism . Financial incentives designed to encourage non-Muslims to convert to Islam have had little effect. The concept of the Malay-Islamic Brunei, which is supposed to legitimize the rule of the sultan's family, goes hand in hand with an Islamization of social life. The state of Brunei is thus promoting religious schools, the pilgrimage to Mecca , the development of an Islamic financial system and has introduced the Sharia courts. This turn to Islamic traditions carries the risk that forces with even more radical ideas will challenge the rule of the sultan.


Sultan Hassan al-Bolkiah

Brunei is the only absolute monarchy in Southeast Asia. The sultan is head of state and religious head of Brunei at the same time. State and judiciary power lies in his hands. Sultan Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah has ruled the country since 1984 and is one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world. Political life has been ideologically based since the 1980s on the concept of a Malay-Islamic Brunei, according to which the monarchy preserves the Malay language, culture and traditions as well as the Islamic religion and Islamic law and is a form of government that is willed by God and encompasses all classes and strata .

Political system

Brunei's political life is based on the Constitution of 1959, which was amended in 2004 and 2006, and the Succession and Regency Proclamation of 1959. The constitution serves as a legal means to consolidate the sultan's sole rule; the sultan's power is not limited by human or civil rights. The Brunei constitution is the only constitution in Southeast Asia that does not define any fundamental rights other than the free exercise of religion. There is no right to vote for women or for men to vote. The people have so few rights of participation that in the case of Brunei one cannot speak of a constitutional monarchy .

The Sultan does not share his political power with anyone. He is head of state, head of official religion , prime minister, finance minister, defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces. The entire judicial apparatus is also subordinate to him; instead of a ministry of justice, as prime minister he has an office for judicial affairs attached to him. The other ministers usually belong to the sultan's family. It is envisaged that only Malay Muslims may hold certain government offices. At the state secretary level, non-members of the sultan's family also work, in some cases members of the Chinese minority.

The sultan can appoint an heir to the throne during his lifetime. If he does not do this, the Succession Council will determine a new sultan after his death. If the Sultan is still a minor, a Regency Council rules in his place.

The Sultan is supported by the Council of State, the Council of Ministers, the Council of Religions, the Succession Council, the Legislative Council and the Adat-Istiadat Council. The Adat Istiadat Council advises the Sultan on Malay customs and state ceremonies. Mainly representatives of the traditional nobility are represented in the State Council; it serves the sultan above all to ensure the loyalty of the nobility. The Sultan has the right of initiative in the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council has the right to judge laws and to examine the draft budget. However, the Sultan may override the judgment of the Legislative Council and still bring rejected laws into force. The 33 members of the Legislative Council are partly appointed by the Sultan, partly because of their office as members of the Council, partly they are elected indirectly by the heads of the villages and districts. Of the 33 current members (as of 2017) of the Legislative Council, 20 were appointed by the Sultan; the other 13 are ex officio members , namely the sultan, the crown prince and eleven ministers. Of the 33 council members, three are women. The legislature is at the discretion of the Sultan. The members of all other councils are appointed and dismissed by the Sultan without the participation of other state organs.

Since the constitutional amendment in 2004 and 2006, any proclamation by the Sultan became immediately applicable law. The consent of the legislature is not required for this; the constitution can also be changed by the Sultan by proclamation. A judicial review of laws or ordinances is not provided.

Parties and elections

The first and so far only party that has managed to have a political program, an organizational structure and significant membership figures in the history of Brunei was the Pan-Bornean Bruneian People's Party . It was also the only party that ran for elections with its own members. After the 1962 rebellion, the People's Party was banned.

Only since 1985 has it been allowed to found parties again. This requires approval from the Ministry of the Interior, which can be revoked at any time. The parties are required to report to the Ministry on their activities annually. Anyone who is employed in the military, the police or in the public service is not allowed to join a party. For these reasons, there are only a few small parties with a few hundred members who are tolerated by the sultan for reasons of foreign policy.

In Brunei the village and district heads are elected, with no parties but individuals running for election. Some members of the Legislative Council are elected by the village and district chiefs.

Legal system

The Brunei legal system combines British common law with Islamic law. It maintains a three tier court system, with judges appointed by the sultan. There is no constitutional court as the sultan can change all laws and the constitution at will. Likewise, there are no ways of taking action against the Sultan or the Bruneian state if one sees one's rights violated as a citizen.

The Sharia courts were introduced between 1998 and 2000. The Sharia was later extended to include the entire population, including non-Muslims. Here, too, there is a three-tier court system whose chief judge is the sultan. If there are conflicts in the decisions between Sharia courts and secular courts, the decision of the Sharia court takes precedence. In Brunei, the death penalty can be the highest punishment. It has not been enforced since the introduction of tightened Sharia law in 2014 and under Western law since independence in 1984. The same applies to corporal punishment provided for in Sharia law.

The Sultan, the Brunei royal family and anyone acting on behalf of the Sultan enjoy unlimited immunity .

The Bruneian legal system is certified to have a high degree of professionalism, which is partly due to the fact that many Bruneian lawyers study in Malaysia or England. In the World Bank's rule of law indicator, Brunei occupies a relatively good place despite Sharia law and immunity of the ruling family. After the Corruption Perception Index ( Corruption Perceptions Index ) of Transparency International Brunei in 2016 was of 176 countries, along with Spain and Costa Rica on the 41st place, with 58 out of a maximum 100 points.


Since independence from Great Britain in 1984, Brunei Darussalam's criminal law has been based on Islamic Sharia law and British common law .

In April 2014, the law was changed so that the death penalty by stoning can again be carried out regularly. The new legal norms could apply for the first time as early as 2018. Accordingly, murder , robbery , rape , adultery and extramarital sexual relations between Muslims, but also abuse of the Koran and public apostasy from Islam and homosexuality are punishable by death . The Sultan of the country said: “Brunei as a country blessed by Allah does not need permission from whomever to want Islam as a national religion. Nor do we ask when we introduce Sharia law as the basis of law. Allah shows us the right way. ”The punishments would also apply to non-Muslims. Observers see this as a concession to the country's Islamist forces.


The sale and public consumption of alcohol are prohibited. Foreigners and non-Muslims are allowed to import 12 cans of beer and 2 bottles of other alcohol (e.g. wine or spirits, no distinction is made according to alcohol content) into the country. This regulation applied per entry into the country, but since 2007 a new import has been permitted at the earliest 48 hours after the last entry. After the introduction of this regulation in the early 1990s, restaurants and nightclubs selling alcohol were closed, but alcohol is still served in tourist hotels.

Restriction of religious freedom

St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Bandar Seri Begawan

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, but other laws and regulations effectively limit this right. For example, followers of non-Islamic religions are prohibited from spreading their own beliefs. The import of non-Islamic texts such as Bibles and certain Islamic teaching material is restricted by customs. In addition, Christmas may not be celebrated in public and another belief may not be taught in schools. Marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is prohibited.


In 2014, the first phase of the catalog of punishments according to Sharia law was introduced. It provides for the death penalty for certain offenses, corporal punishment and amputation. A further tightening was confirmed in March 2019. This means that the death penalty for homosexuality is also possible. Homosexuals are said to be stoned to death with reference to Islamic law.

Foreign policy

Brunei is an active member of the Southeast Asian community of states ASEAN . The sultanate is now a member of around 40 international organizations, in addition to the United Nations, e.g. B. in the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO , the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the non-aligned movement (NAM). Further applications for membership in international organizations have been made. This and the close security cooperation with Singapore are part of the measures with which Brunei ensures its sovereignty.

Brunei has not joined the Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries ( OPEC ). Nevertheless, Brunei maintains very close ties to the monarchies of the Middle East, especially to Saudi Arabia because of the holy places . The country traditionally has close ties to the former protectorate power Great Britain , including good relations between the two monarchies. It has good relations with the USA , the member states of the European Union , Australia and New Zealand and Russia . Relationships not only with the People's Republic of China but also with Japan and Korea have recently become more intensive . Nonetheless, Brunei ensures that its relationship with all its East Asian partners remains balanced, especially in economic terms.

India and Thailand currently each take around 20% of Brunei's oil production of 120,000 barrels per day. On the basis of long-term contracts, Japan currently purchases around 75% of Brunei's LNG production. China has recently been promoting the sultanate intensively and is now present in the sultanate with nearly thirty companies. The focus is on the expansion of infrastructure, agriculture and food production. Brunei is interested in developing economic ties with Beijing and therefore pursues a policy of moderation, inclusion and accommodating. With regard to the disagreements between some ASEAN partners and China in the South China Sea, Brunei takes a pragmatic, mediating position.

Brunei's foreign policy is based on principles such as “non-interference” and “consensus” - the latter applies above all to the sultanate's multilateral work. In addition to the ASEAN community, the most important foreign policy frame of reference is cooperation within the non-aligned movement .

Oil and gas abundance and high returns from foreign investments through the sovereign wealth fund managed by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) provide the country with considerable wealth and political influence despite its small size.

The border dispute with Malaysia was resolved in 2009.

Social affairs and education

Brunei is a rich, absolutist welfare state ; Education and health systems at a high level are available free of charge. There is a nine-year compulsory education . Attending schools and universities (also abroad) is free of charge. The University of Brunei Darussalam is located in Bandar Seri Begawan . Classes are taught in Malay, English, or Chinese in primary and secondary schools.


Thanks to its raw material deposits, Brunei can afford a relatively expensive security apparatus. The country has three security services: the armed forces, the Gurkha Paramilitary Reserve Unit and the police, which also includes paramilitary units. Overall, Brunei spent an average of around 15% of its national budget on security in recent years; in Southeast Asia, only Singapore has higher per capita security spending than Brunei. A total of 11,400 people work directly in one of the security services.

The Brunei military consisted of around 7,000 soldiers and officers in 2013. Soldiers can only be ethnic Malays . While labor costs make up about 60 percent of the military's budget, Brunei also invests in sophisticated weapon systems. The share of military spending has fluctuated between 6 percent and 2.5 percent in recent years, with the fluctuation not coming from spending, but rather from revenues for oil and gas. The task of the military is to defend the country from external attacks, to assist the civil authorities in the event of a disaster, and to maintain internal order. The Brunei military has participated in several UN missions over the past two decades and maintains close cooperation with the Singaporean military .

The Gurkha Reserve Unit serves with 500 to 2000 men to protect the Seria oil field , public facilities and as a bodyguard for the Sultan. It is the counterpart to the army in the event that the army does not behave loyally to the Sultan, and it is responsible for any necessary repression of opponents of the regime. One of the tasks of the police is to ward off terrorist threats, but they also have the option of detaining critics without charge. The crime rate is low, which is why violence or repression by the approximately 4400 police officers against the population is rare.

Administrative division

Brunei is divided into four districts ( Malay daerah ) and urban areas, which in turn are subdivided into districts (Malay mukim ), villages (Malay kampong ) and places with longhouses. As of March 2019, Brunei has four districts and 39 districts.

The heads of the villages, longhouse settlements and districts are elected by the local populations; However, candidates must be approved by the government. They are subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, which is authorized to issue instructions to them. Their function is primarily to mediate between the government and the population.


The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 12.7 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity, GDP is $ 33.5 billion or $ 78,200 per inhabitant. In the ranking of countries according to their GDP per capita, Brunei ranks 5th and is the second richest country in Southeast Asia after Singapore .

In the 2018 ranking according to the human development index , Brunei is in 39th place out of 189 countries evaluated with a value of 0.853 and is thus in the highest evaluation group “very high human development”. Oil and gas revenues have contributed more than half to GDP for many years, their share fluctuating between 76.1 percent in 1985, 57.5 percent in 2000 and 68.3 percent in 2011. They make 95 Percent of export income and 90 percent of state income. Oil production continues to decline and is currently around 130,000 barrels a day, less than half of 2007 production. Natural gas production has remained at around 1.2 billion cubic feet per day for three years. Nevertheless, Brunei is determined to achieve increases in oil and gas production again from 2018. Brunei still has high reserves; as of January 1, 2012, they were estimated at 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 390 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Brunei can finance its pension state for many years to come and has no incentives to diversify or modernize its economy.

The economy of Brunei is growing well below average in regional comparison and is currently shrinking for the third year in a row. The real growth rate in 2015 was −0.6 percent. There are still bureaucratic barriers to finding growth opportunities outside of the energy sector. In addition, there is growing unemployment, which is shown in more recent official statistics at around 9 percent. In addition, there is rising youth unemployment and hidden unemployment due to overemployment in the public sector.

On January 28, 2016, the European Commission presented a package of measures to combat tax evasion , including Brunei on the black list of tax havens .

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Brunei ranks 46th out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2020, the country ranked 61st out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom .

Key figures

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
12.10 billion 14.17 billion 18.67 billion 21.69 billion 26.99 billion 29.05 billion 29.85 billion 29.84 billion 29.52 billion 30.67 billion 32.48 billion 33.38 billion 33.20 billion 32.95 billion 33.17 billion 32.76 billion 33.54 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
54,530 55,924 64,990 66,767 72,933 75,847 76,560 79,577 77,667 79,302 82,567 83,659 82.053 80.221 79,638 77,422 78.196
GDP growth
... 1.1% 4.5% 2.9% 0.4% 4.4% 0.1% −2.0% −1.8% 2.7% 3.7% 0.9% −2.1% −2.5% −0.4% −2.5% 0.5%
(in percent)
1.1% 2.1% 6.0% 1.2% 1.1% 0.2% 1.0% 2.1% 1.0% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.4% −0.2% −0.4% −0.7% −0.1%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1 % 1 % 1 % 1 % 1 % 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 3%

Natural resources

Brunei's economy benefits from enormous natural gas fields and oil reserves, which gave the state one of the highest per capita incomes in Southeast Asia . In 2005, the gross domestic product per capita was around 16,000 US dollars , with oil and gas production accounting for 55.9 percent. In 2010, GDP per capita was already over $ 31,000. The first oil fields were discovered near Seria in 1929 . The offshore deposits were also developed in the 1950s. The production is in the hands of Brunei Shell Petroleum , in which the government has a 50% stake. Most of the crude oil is exported to Japan , South Korea , Taiwan and the United States . Natural gas is liquefied in one of the world's largest plants in Lumut and sold to Japan.


About 80 percent of the food for the population is imported, but there are efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in the agricultural sector. Local agriculture produces rice , fruits and vegetables . The production of rubber and the extraction and processing of pepper and animal skins are of little economic importance .

Foreign trade

The currency of Brunei is the Brunei dollar with 100 cents. Its exchange rate is frozen at 1: 1 in relation to the Singapore dollar . In Brunei, banknotes from both countries are recognized as a means of payment and are also accepted in shops.

A free trade area between Brunei, Chile , New Zealand and Singapore has existed under the name P4 Agreement since 2006 . The country is also a member of the ASEAN free trade area .


The transport network comprises 2,819 kilometers of roads and 13 kilometers of railways . The most important ports are Bandar Seri Begawan, Kuala Belait and Muara.

Brunei has its own airline, Royal Brunei . The Brunei International Airport is located in the northeast of the Sultanate in Muara district.

State budget

The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 4.61 billion US dollars, which were income equivalent to 2.95 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 10.4 percent of GDP .
There is no national debt in Brunei . The state budget is fed - depending on the world market prices for oil and gas - between 70 and 93 percent of the revenues from the oil and gas business. The state reserves are managed by the Brunei Investment Agency , which is attached to the Ministry of Finance.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:

The economic activities of the Brunei dynasty are not part of the state budget. These activities are completely non-transparent and cannot be seen by outsiders. No data is available on these activities.

The income from the sale of crude oil and natural gas allows Brunei to largely forego taxation of its citizens. In addition, the education and health systems are available free of charge. The government gives college grants, maintains a large public sector and state-owned companies that pay attractive salaries, and subsidizes fuel, housing, and food. In this way, the ruling house buys the loyalty of its citizens and prevents demands for political changes or a desire to have a say.


The right to free information and expression is subject to severe restrictions in Brunei. All media must be registered. All newspapers and magazines require a license from the Ministry of the Interior, which must be renewed annually. Since two of the three newspapers in Brunei are owned by the Sultan anyway, the 2017 ranking of press freedom by Reporters Without Borders puts Brunei in 156th place out of 180 countries examined.

The state radio and television program is produced by Radio Television Brunei . There is also a private radio station with KRISTALfm . Three newspapers are published in Brunei:

  • Government newspaper Pelita Brunei ( fortnightly ; in Malay )
  • Media Permata (daily newspaper; Malay) - published by Brunei Press Sdn Bhd
  • Borneo Bulletin (daily newspaper; in English ) - published by Brunei Press Sdn Bhd

Until 2016, there was another English-language daily newspaper, The Brunei Times . is the largest online news portal for Brunei.

Brunei Press Sdn Bhd is a privately owned company owned by the Sultan.

environmental Protection

In Brunei, 58% of the land area is primary forest , and 2,260 km² (39% of the total area) has been declared a protected area. The indigenous groups living in the rainforests are allowed to hunt traditionally. The use of firearms has been banned since 1962. Ecological problems are mostly caused by the extraction of oil. In order to counteract the garbage problem and to raise awareness among the population, the “No Plastic Bag Weekend” was proclaimed on March 26, 2011.

See also: List of nature reserves in Brunei


  • Christian Wagner: Brunei. In: Dieter Nohlen, Franz Nuscheler (Ed.): Handbook of the Third World. Vol. 7. South Asia and Southeast Asia. 3. Edition. Dietz, Bonn 1994, ISBN 3-8012-0207-0 , pp. 370-383.
  • Roderich Ptak: Brunei Darussalam. In: Bernhard Dahm, Roderich Ptak (Hrsg.): Südostasien-Handbuch. History, society, politics, economy, culture. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-45313-9 , pp. 219-228.

Web links

Wiktionary: Brunei  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Brunei  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Brunei  - geographical and historical maps
Wikivoyage: Brunei  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. a b CIA World Factbook: Brunei (English)
  3. a b Human Development Reports - 2018 Statistical Update. In: Retrieved October 15, 2019 .
  4. Federal Foreign Office. Accessed February 9, 2014
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Coordinates: 4 ° 24 '  N , 114 ° 34'  E