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Country Reports

Brunei Darussalam Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Brunei is a constitutional sultanate with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah as the head of the state, prime minister, defence minister, foreign minister, and finance minister. The sultan does not face any challenge to his authority. There is also no sign of a gradual transfer of power to Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, who is currently minister in the Prime Minister's Office. Brunei has since 1962 been in a state of emergency, renewed every two years, allowing the sultan to circumvent parliament and run the government by decree. The country heavily relies on oil and gas, which contribute about 90% of export revenue. Low oil prices have reduced the government's ability to fund its spending and increased the likelihood of the sultanate introducing a consumption tax in the near future.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

The government maintains a positive attitude towards foreign investment and has a low corporate tax regime. The public sector dominates the business environment, and the government has a plan to privatise government agencies but has not made significant progress. Brunei's transport infrastructure, including roads, ports, and bridges, is undergoing modernisation. The small size of the population and the large size of the public sector have made Brunei dependent on foreign workers in the private sector, making the labour market highly flexible. Corruption levels are also very low, and the few reported cases involve low-level bribes.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Low

Brunei claims a tiny part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. However, it has continued to maintain amicable links with other claimants in the territorial dispute, such as China and Malaysia, and is unlikely to become involved in escalation between the larger claimants. Brunei's land border dispute with Malaysia over the district of Limbang was resolved in 2009 when Brunei dropped its claim to the district. After 2009, progress has been made regarding demarcating the borders and controlling cross-border traffic, indicating amicable relations between the two countries.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

Low

Brunei's social stability is underpinned by high living standards funded by hydrocarbon revenue and tight state control. Social unrest has been extremely rare since 2009 when Bangladeshi workers protested over unpaid wages. There is a very low risk of unrest, and there is no indication of an increased risk of civil unrest.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

High

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over one year of age arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and for travelers who have been in transit for >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

High
Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Low
Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Brunei's climate is hot and humid throughout the year. Temperatures are generally pleasant (23°C to 32°C). The rainy season begins in September and lasts until January. The dry season (or the drier season), extends from February until April.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 673
Police: 993
Fire Dept.: 995
Ambulance: 991

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: November 20, 2013