Brunei 1997Brunei

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Brunei - Introduction 1997
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Background: Although greatly reduced in size since its heyday of the 16th century the Sultanate of Brunei sits atop extensive petroleum and natural gas fields the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in the less developed countries.

Brunei - Geography 1997
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Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia

Geographic coordinates: 4 30 N, 114 40 E

Map referenceSoutheast Asia

Total: 5,770 km²
Land: 5,270 km²
Water: 500 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries
Total: 381 km
Border countries: (1) Malaysia 381 km

Coastline: 161 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to median line
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy

Terrain: flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west

Extremes lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, timber
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 1%
Forests and woodland: 85%
Other: 12% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are very rare

Note: close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost an enclave of Malaysia

Brunei - People 1997
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Population: 307,616 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 2.5% (1997 est.)

Noun: Bruneian(s)
Adjective: Bruneian

Ethnic groups: Malay 64%, Chinese 20%, other 16%

Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese

Religions: Muslim (official) 63%, Buddhism 14%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs and other 15% (1981)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 33% (male 52,239; female 50,025)
15-64 years: 63% (male 101,326; female 90,941)
65 years and over: 4% (male 7,207; female 5,878) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.5% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 25.2 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 5.13 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.89 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.23 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 23.8 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.54 years
Male: 70 years
Female: 73.16 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.37 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 88.2%
Male: 92.6%
Female: 83.4% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Brunei - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
Conventional short form: Brunei

Government type: constitutional sultanate

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Administrative divisions: 4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah; Belait, Brunei and Muara, Temburong, Tutong

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 January 1984 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 23 February (1984)

Constitution: 29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1 January 1984)

Legal system: based on Islamic law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: none

Executive branch
Chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji HASSANAL Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (since 5 October 1967); note - the sultan is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji HASSANAL Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (since 5 October 1967); note - the sultan is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by the sultan; deals with executive matters
Note: there is also a Religious Council (members appointed by the sultan) that advises on religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the sultan) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of Succession (members appointed by the sultan) that determines the succession to the throne if the need arises
Elections: none; the sultan is a traditional Islamic monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council or Majlis Masyuarat Megeri (a privy council that serves only in a consultative capacity; NA seats; members appointed by the sultan)
Elections: last held in March 1962
Note: in 1970 the Council was changed to an appointive body by decree of the sultan; an elected Legislative Council is being considered as part of constitutional reform, but elections are unlikely for several years

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chief justice and judges are sworn in by the sultan for three-year terms

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: APEC, ASEAN, C, CCC, ESCAP, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDB, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, Mekong Group, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Pengiran Anak Dato Haji PUTEH
In the us chancery: Watergate, Suite 300, 3rd floor, 2,600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,037
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 342-0159
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 342-0158
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Glen Robert RASE
From the us embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan
From the us mailing address: American Embassy Box B, Bandar Seri Begawan, APO AP 96,440
From the us telephone: [673] (2) 229,670
From the us FAX: [673] (2) 225,293

Flag descriptionflag of Brunei: yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width) and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in red is superimposed at the center; the emblem includes a swallow-tailed flag on top of a winged column within an upturned crescent above a scroll and flanked by two upraised hands

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Brunei - Economy 1997
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Economy overview: This small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation and welfare measures, and village tradition. It is almost totally supported by exports of crude oil and natural gas, with revenues from the petroleum sector accounting for perhaps half of GDP. Per capita GDP is among the highest in the Third World, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes food and housing. The government is beginning to show progress on its basic policy of diversifying the economy away from oil and gas. Brunei's leaders are concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 3%
Industry: 46%
Services: 51% (1995 est.)

Agriculture products: rice, cassava (tapioca), bananas; water buffalo, pigs

Industries: petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

Labor force
Total: 119,000 (1993 est.); note - includes members of the Army
By occupation government: 48%
By occupation productionofoil naturalgas services and construction: 42%
By occupation agriculture forestry and fishing: 4%
By occupation other: 6% (1986est.)
Note: 33% of labor force is foreign (1988)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 4.8% (1994 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $2.5 billion
Expenditures: $2.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $768 million (1995 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Total value: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
Commodities: crude oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products
Partners: Japan 50%, UK 19%, Thailand 10%, Singapore 9% (1994 est.)

Total value: $2 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.)
Commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
Partners: Singapore 29%, UK 19%, US 13%, Malaysia 9%, Japan 5% (1994 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $0

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Bruneian dollars (B$) per US$1 - 1.4061 (January 1997), 1.4100 (1996), 1.4174 (1995), 1.5274 (1994), 1.6158 (1993), 1.6290 (1992; note - the Bruneian dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar

Brunei - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.24 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 4,003 kWh (1995 est.)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Brunei - Communication 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: service throughout country is adequate for present needs; international service good to adjacent Malaysia
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Brunei - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $312 million (1994)
Percent of gdp: 6.2% (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Brunei - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
Over 3047 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Heliports: 3 (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 135 km; petroleum products 418 km; natural gas 920 km

Total: 13 km (private line)
Narrow gauge: 13 km 0.610-m gauge


Waterways: 209 km; navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m

Merchant marine: total:7 liquefied gas tankers (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 348,476 GRT/340,635 DWT (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Brunei - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: may wish to purchase the Malaysian salient that divides the country; all of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam; parts of them are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines; in 1984, Brunei established an exclusive fishing zone that encompasses Louisa Reef, but has not publicly claimed the island

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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