BRUNEI BAROMETER (2021 - ONGOING)

The Brunei Barometer is an applied research project to gauge the state of Bruneians via their opinions and expectations on Economic, Institutional, and Socio-Cultural domains in order to formulate broad policy recommendations in all domains. As such, it is multi-dimensional, cutting across the socioeconomics of health, ICT, energy, environment, and sustainable development.

The project (longitudinal trend study) will track and analyze socio-economic development including the attitudes and resilience of Bruneians. It contributes directly to monitoring/ refining the KPIs of the 3 goals of Wawasan and allows strategic foresight for emerging issues and development challenges confronting Brunei to be conducted.

The measurement tool design and the survey sample design have been completed. A national survey of 1,500 households is planned to begin in February 2022.

brunei economic outlook (2020 - ongoing)

Surveillance of economic developments and analysis of key policy issues are essential inputs in developing sound macroeconomic policies. Policy makers need to know the current state of the economy and where it could be heading in the short- and medium-term.

The Brunei Economic Outlook is a CSPS flagship report that provides analysis and forecasts of economic developments and policies in Brunei, as well as highlight risks and uncertainty to growth. The report is published annually in January, with a mid-year report (Brunei Economic Update) published in July. The target audiences are policy makers in government ministries and agencies, investors, academics, researchers, private sector professionals, and the general public.

ASEAN SME Policy Index (2018)

Joint study with Darussalam Enterprise, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

The ASEAN SME Policy Index is a measurement tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses in policies applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in ASEAN member states, evaluated in eight dimensions that allow benchmarking with international best practices.

Brunei performed relatively well in policy areas such as having a robust legal and regulatory framework on access to finance, company registration, and e-Government. However, there are several areas that require more government attention, especially in environmental policies targeting SMEs, encouraging social enterprises and inclusive SMEs, and improving public-private consultations.

ASEAN Seamless trade facilitation index (2018)

Joint study with Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

The ASEAN Seamless Trade Facilitation Index (ASTFI) is based on a survey of major trade-related government agencies of ASEAN member states to measure various domains including transparency and engagement with the private sector, clearance and release formalities, export and import formalities and coordination, and measures for transit, transport, and e-commerce facilitation.

The survey findings for Brunei highlight several gaps in the trade facilitation process compared to best practices. Recommendations to address the identified issues and challenges include increasing the digitalisation of document processing and payment, expanding the National Single Window to cover exports of goods, encouraging the use of approved simplified process such as pre-clearance or expedited clearance and self-certification programs, and intensifying consultation with the private sector.

Economic Cluster Development in Brunei Darussalam (2016-2017)

Joint study with Prime Minister’s Office

This study aims to prioritise economic clusters based on strategic feasibility and economic attractiveness. The highest prioritisation scores, in descending order of the 10 selected clusters, were energy, logistics and transport, tourism, education, health, digital economy, business services, financial services, agrifood, and Halal.

CSPS conducted several workshops and acted as a mediator to allow public discourse on economic development policies from a wide range of private sector companies in various industries. Key findings from the workshops were used as basis for discussion and further action by each cluster champion, which was the Minister or Deputy Minister of the relevant Ministry.

Updating the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) and Passenger Exit Survey for Brunei Darussalam (2017)

Joint study with Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism

This main objective of this study is to update the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for 2010-2016. TSA is a standard statistical framework and the main tool to measure the contribution tourism makes to production and employment.

CSPS conducted a passenger exit survey of 2,000 overseas tourists to estimate tourists’ expenditure, attitudes, preferences, and their level of satisfaction with the infrastructures and services available in Brunei. The TSA includes an estimation of total tourism expenditure by foreign visitors and domestic tourists, as well as direct and indirect tourism-induced gross value added (GVA) and employment, to measure the overall impact of tourism on the economy.

National Productivity measurement (2012, 2015)

Joint study with Prime Minister’s Office

This project proposes a comprehensive measurement of productivity and formulates a National Productivity Roadmap to support Wawasan Brunei 2035 goals, focusing on the role of innovation, information and communications technology (ICT), and a knowledge-based economy, with the possibility of establishing a new National Productivity Authority.

Following macro-level research on Brunei’s productivity and growth, firm-level productivity studies were conducted in selected companies to benchmark productivity performance with comparable companies in the region, with the aim of developing productivity measurement capability and improving business productivity.

Land Optimisation strategy for industrial and Commercial growth in brunei darussalam (2012)

Joint study with Ministry of Development and SGS Economics & Planning

This study is the first and only nationwide quantification of the availability of greenfield land. It provides high-level strategies to optimise industrial and commercial land use to drive economic diversification using the guided principles of balanced and sustainable development.

The study finds that there is adequate land for economic development based on Wawasan Brunei 2035 projections while preserving the Heart of Borneo. Several development zones with available land mass were identified, including the Telisai Energy Park, Panaga/Mumong, Anduki/Sungai Liang, Tutong, Brunei Creative and Knowledge-based Industry Precinct, and the Brunei Aerotech Precinct.

Economic Diversification (2007)

Two joint studies with Mark Crosby (Melbourne Business School) and Manu Bhaskaran (The Centennial Group)

These studies are among the earliest to highlight the challenges faced in Brunei’s quest for diversification. A key constraint has been the enabling environment, particularly bureaucratic hindrances, red-tape, and slow decision-making.

The Government has since stepped up efforts in improving the enabling environment, led by the Ease of Doing Business Steering Committee involving 13 champion groups from various ministries and agencies. Brunei Darussalam’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business has improved significantly in recent years.