Brunei seeks to join world’s wealthiest nations
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – TINY Brunei, which already boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia, wants to vault into the world’s top 10, according to a long-range government development plan.
The oil-rich nation on the weekend unveiled its ‘Wawasan Brunei 2035’ plan which urged better implementation of development initiatives in order to accelerate economic growth.
It identified tourism as a potential revenue generator, called for improvements in transport and communications infrastructure, and greater investment in research and development, according to an executive summary of the ‘Brunei Darussalam Long-Term Development Plan’.
Brunei is aiming for a ‘dynamic and sustainable economy with income per capita within the top 10 in the world’, the summary said.
The government also wants Brunei to have a quality of life that is among the world’s top 10, it said.
Brunei is the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia, and the world’s fourth-largest producer of liquefied natural gas, according to the Brunei Yearbook 2007, which says reserves are expected to last for at least two more decades based on current production rates.
Observers say the government has been debating how to secure its economic future amid dwindling oil and gas resources.
The country’s mineral wealth has brought Brunei’s citizens, who number fewer than 400,000, an array of social welfare benefits. — AFP