Economic Cluster Development in Brunei Darussalam (2016-2017)

As commissioned by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), this research is to gather preliminary information to guide the initial stages of industrial clusters development initiatives. The first stage of this process was initiated by CSPS, in collaboration with PMO, with the identification of 10 clusters that were seen as relevant to Brunei Darussalam’s economic development and were feasible to become regionally or globally competitive. The 10 clusters are as follows: (1) Energy; (2) Agrifood; (3) Tourism; (4) Education; (5) Health Services; (6) Halal; (7) Financial Services; (8) Business Services; (9) Logistics & Transportation; and (10) Digital Economy.

CSPS has conducted several cluster specific workshops for Logistics, Education, Health Services, Halal, Digital Economy, and Business Services up to now and specific policy briefs for each cluster have been submitted to PMO for their further actions. Workshops for the more established clusters that already have a strategic direction to move towards have not been organised (i.e. Finance, Energy, Agrifood, and Tourism).

The workshops mainly focused on acquiring inputs from the private sector but Government representatives were invited to attend as well. The workshops were usually made up of 20 to 30 participants.

In the cluster specific workshops, participants were asked to craft a vision for their respective cluster. They would then conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and a gap analysis in relation to their chosen vision. Lastly, they would be asked to outline a few strategic initiatives that would help the cluster achieve the vision.

Participants of the workshops have been supportive of the concept of clustering and have requested to be included in any clustering initiatives initiated by the Government.

One of the key issues faced so far is collecting data on specific clusters as they don’t fall into the conventional industrial classification used by Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE).