flag Brunei Darussalam Brunei Darussalam: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Brunei is highly dependent on exports (57,4% of GDP in 2020), and foreign trade represented over 147% of its GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). The Sultanate's exports are dominated by the hydrocarbon sector, which benefits from a higher demand from New Zealand, South Korea and Australia. The same applies to the liquefied natural gas, which is exported especially to Japan (as a result of the problems related to the nuclear sector). The main products that Brunei imports are mineral fuels, food, vehicles, metals and machinery (Ministry of Finance and Economy, 2022).

Singapore is the main export partner of the country (20.9% of total exports in 2021), followed by China (20%), Japan (19%), Australia (13.7%), Malaysia (5.4%) and India with 4% of total exports (OEC, 2023). Exports from Brunei reached 11.3 billion USD.The main suppliers are Malaysia (20.3% of all imports), Singapore (10.7%), Saudi Arabia (10.3%) and China with 8.2% (OEC, 2023). Imports to Brunei reached 7.93 billion USD.

Brunei's trade surplus climbed to BND 704.2 million or USD 527 million in January 2023 from BND 338.3 million (USD 253.,6 million) in the same month a year earlier. It was the 24th straight month of gains and the largest amount since last July, with exports rising while imports fell. Sales jumped 20.8% in 12 months to BND 1,586.6 million, mainly due to higher shipments of mineral fuels (13.6% ) and chemicals (45.2%). The highest share of exports went to Japan, accounting for 26% of the total, followed by Australia (16.9%), Singapore (14.9%), China (10.2%), and Malaysia (8.6%). Meanwhile, imports shrank 9.5% to a 10-month low of BND 882.4 million, mainly weighed down by mineral fuels (-15.2%). The highest share of imports came from Malaysia (25.2% of the total), UAE (16.9%), China (14.2%), Qatar (12.1%), and Australia (8.6%). In 2022, the trade surplus soared to BND 6,432.9 million (USD 4822,4 million USD) from BND 4,412.1 million (USD 3307,3 millon) the year before, as exports grew by 36.7% while imports contracted 32.5% (Department of Economic Planning and Development, Brunei, 2022).

Brunei wishes to liberalise its trade further and has eliminated import duties on 99.6% of its tariff line with ASEAN (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia). However, the country does not have a regulatory control agency, a fact which hinders the drafting of formal trade policies. The country is also part of the regional grouping Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, which aims to increase the economic integration of these countries into a vibrant economy.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 3,0854,1645,1035,3428,570
Exports of Goods (million USD) 5,5716,5747,0396,60811,037
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,2201,5461,7771,177902
Exports of Services (million USD) 533551599333205
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 12814-229
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -331589
Trade Balance (million USD) 2,4032,3652,2111,3592,679
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 8594109110147
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3642515367
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5052585780

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Australia 20.6%
Japan 17.4%
China 15.6%
Singapore 13.6%
Malaysia 10.1%
See More Countries 22.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Malaysia 24.0%
United Arab Emirates 12.2%
China 8.8%
Qatar 6.1%
Singapore 5.4%
See More Countries 43.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

14.2 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 36.3%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 28.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 15.3%
Cyclic hydrocarbonsCyclic hydrocarbons 14.2%
Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl. those in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 1.7%
See More Products 4.4%
9.2 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 59.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.1%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 2.0%
Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801...Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801 or 8802, n.e.s. 1.6%
See More Products 28.6%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), AFTA and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.

 

 

Useful Resources
Royal Customs & Excise Department
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO)
 
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2023

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