Brunei to see growth this year, says minister

MArch 7, 2023

Brunei Darussalam’s positive economic growth forecast this year takes into account recovery and economic diversification efforts especially the downstream oil and gas industry relating to Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd and Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd.

The forecast also considers internal and external factors such as the spread of a new COVID-19 variant, the continued geo-political situation, high inflation rate, global economic recession and uncertain oil and gas prices and production output.

This was said by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah yesterday during the 19th Legislative Council session.

He said the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) Economic Outlook 2023 states that the nation’s economy is projected to grow by 2.6 per cent, following a two-per-cent growth in oil and gas sector, where production is expected to increase while activities in non-oil and gas sector are also expected to record a 2.8-per-cent growth.

The CSPS also forecasts the inflation to drop to 2.5 per cent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have also projected positive economic growth this year, at 3.3 per cent, 3.0 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

The IMF, through its World Economic Outlook, in January 2023 projected the global trade volume to slow from 5.4 per cent in 2022 to 2.4 per cent this year before bounding to 3.4 per cent in 2024 due to forecast by the global economic association that the global demand is reduced, affecting global trade.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its January report forecast the Brent oil price to drop from USD100.94 per barrel in 2022 to USD83.10 per barrel in 2023.

The Sultanate’s economic momentum is projected to increase following the re-opening of economic and international borders.

According to the third quarter of 2022 report from the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics, the nation’s gross domestic product has shown a growth of 0.9 per cent, after recording negative growth in the previous two quarters.

He said the growth was due to a 4.6-per-cent growth in the non-oil and gas sector, such as downstream, finance, air transportation, whole supply and retail as well as fisheries.

However, the oil and gas sector recorded a 2.7-per-cent decrease due to a drop in raw oil production following scheduled and unscheduled closures for maintenance activities and offshore oil fields.