Optimal Population and Manpower Forecasting (2013-2014)

The main objectives of the project were:

    • To identify the opportunities and threats behind an increase in population size in Brunei Darussalam.
    • To identify future manpower requirements to meet our future economy, both in terms of quantity and quality (skills required).
    • To identify the human resource requisites required in order to have an economy on a sustainable growth path and how can the high standards of the current education system be translated to a skilled and professional workforce.


    The main findings of this study are:

    • In order to achieve economies of scale, scope and sectoral redeployment, and to achieve Wawasan 2035, Brunei Darussalam needs to increase its population at least to 1 million.
    • Manpower requirements should be determined by the market, and they are heavily dependent on the sectors that will be developed in the future private sector of Brunei Darussalam. However it can be anticipated that Brunei will need skills in strategic management, financial planning, project management, human resource, marketing, logistics, IT, law, and economics.
    • The study suggests a possible future development of the construction sector, that will accompany the overall growth in Bruneian population and economic size.

    The key policy recommendations are:

    • Stimulate an increase in the population growth rate, using both financial and structural incentives. Population growth should be achieved both through an increase in the fertility rate and attracting foreign workers.
    • To achieve higher skills, training and education is not sufficient. Workers need to exercise and improve their skills in the private sector. Some sectors, such as construction and 3D manufacturing, may be particularly helpful in allowing the workers to acquire a wide set of skills, that later may be employed in other sectors as well.
    • Caretaking should be corporatised to raise productivity and generate fungible manpower. An aging population will require a stronger caretaking sectors, and the opportunity cost of care is high.
    • Brunei Darussalam sovereign fund may be used not only to high rates of return, but also to build manpower, investing in economies and companies that may allow Bruneians to improve their skills.
    • Provide stronger incentives to develop manpower and raise productivity.