Activity is strong in the oil and gas industry, and the country is encouraging economic diversification through major foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in other sectors. This supports Vision 2035 - Brunei’s long-term sustainable development plan.
A strategic partner
Brunei is recognised for its political stability, and is located in the heart of South East Asia. It has good access to regional and global markets, and strong trade ties with the Middle East.
The UK concluded negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on 31 March 2023 and signed the Protocol of Accession on 16 July 2023. Brunei is a member of the CPTPP.
Close links with the UK
As a Commonwealth country, Brunei has close links with the UK. Many Bruneians have studied in the UK and have a taste for British goods, and there are many British expats in the country. UK companies operating in Brunei include Shell, Standard Chartered and KPMG.
Top five UK goods exported to Brunei , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023
|Goods||Value (£ million )|
|General industrial machinery (intermediate)||4.7|
|Mechanical power generators (intermediate)||3.3|
|Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate)||3.3|
Total import value (into the UK from Brunei) and export value (from the UK into Brunei) over time
|Year||Imports (£ million )||Exports (£ million )||Total trade (£ million )|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Brunei.
Brunei: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Brunei have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Oil and gas
The oil and gas industry is the backbone of Brunei’s economy and offers many opportunities to UK companies.
Decommissioning and restoration
Brunei now has an ageing infrastructure that needs to be decommissioned. Dedicated funding is in place for decommissioning and restoration activities over the next 20 years, and the expertise of UK companies will be in demand.
There’s a continuing need for international companies to partner with local ones to develop a range of support services for Brunei’s oil and gas industry. Sectors of opportunity include shipyard maintenance and repairs, marine supplies and heavy waste management.
Need for Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET)
Brunei is inviting UK and other international companies to partner with local ones in providing accredited training programmes in TVET. The aim is to develop young people’s skills, assist their transition to work and thus support the country’s economic development.
The Brunei Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 focuses on teacher leadership and career management, the deployment of technology to promote financial literacy, and the use of ICT in classrooms. UK firms can play a big part in these initiatives.
The Brunei stock exchange is being established to meet the needs of investors in Islamic and ethical securities. UK firms with relevant experience could play a key role in its future success.
Brunei is developing a fund management industry. Important initiatives include an Islamic Funds Hub enabling the global buying and selling of Shariah-compliant investment products, fund management operational support services, and the valuation and rating of Islamic investment vehicles. UK companies can bring their expertise to these activities.