Brunei : Investment Climate Statement 2015

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Brunei Darussalam is an energy-rich Sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Brunei boasts a well-educated, largely English-speaking population, excellent infrastructure, and a government intent on attracting foreign investment and projects. In parallel with Brunei's efforts to attract foreign investment, the country has improved its protections for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Despite repeated calls for diversification, Brunei's economy remains dependent on the income derived from sales of oil and gas. Substantial revenue from overseas investment supplements income from domestic hydrocarbon production. These two revenue streams provide a comfortable quality of life for Brunei's population. Citizens are not required to pay taxe, have access to free education through to the university level, free medical care and, frequently, subsidized housing. Brunei has a stable political climate and is generally sheltered from natural disasters. Brunei's central location in Southeast Asia, with good telecommunications, numerous airline connections, business tax credits in specified sectors, and no income, sales or export taxes offers a welcoming climate for would-be investors. Brunei is a founding member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. Sectors offering U.S. business opportunities in Brunei include Aerospace & Defense, Agribusiness, Construction, Petrochemicals, Energy & Mining, Environmental Technologies, Food Processing & Packaging, Franchising, Health Technologies, Information & Communication, Islamic Finance, and Services. In 2014 Brunei released an Energy White Paper outlining its vision of leveraging its oil wealth to diversify its economy, create local employment, increase foreign direct investment (FDI), and sharply increase the use of renewable energy by 2035. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and the Energy Department of Brunei's Prime Minister's Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that calls for expanded information sharing regarding trade and energy business opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as exploring options for utilizing up to USD 1 billion EXIM Bank loans to finance U.S. exports in support of selected projects in the region. The MOU creates significant new opportunities for U.S. energy companies in Brunei and the Asia-Pacific region while advancing the goals set out by the United States-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership (USACEP). In 2014 Brunei began supplementing the existing common law-based penal system with a penal code based on Islamic law, which will carry Sharia punishments. The Islamic Penal Code is applicable across the board. The first phase became effective on May 1, 2014. It expands restrictions regarding the drinking of alcohol, eating in public during the fasting hours in the month of Ramadan, and indecent behavior. Two subsequent phases, the timing of which is not yet clear, are expected to introduce severe punishments such as; stoning to death for certain sex-related offenses and the amputating of limbs. Brunei officials say the most severe punishments will rarely if ever be implemented given the very high standard of proof required under the Sharia Penal Code. While the law does not specifically address business-related matters, potential investors should be aware that there is controversy surrounding the Sharia Penal Code issue.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 24 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 1mm | 82g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514387778
  • 9781514387771