Trade Profile

flag Brunei Darussalam Brunei Darussalam: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Brunei is highly dependent on exports, with foreign trade representing around 147% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The Sultanate's exports are dominated by the hydrocarbon sector, which accounts for around 95% of the total. On the other hand, imports are led by petroleum oils (65.7%), motor cars (2.1%), and coal (2% - data Comtrade 2022).

Australia was the main export partner in 2022, accounting for 20.6% of total exports, followed by Japan (17.4%), China (15.6%), Singapore (13.6%), Malaysia (10.1%), and Indonesia (4.7%). In the same year, imports came chiefly from Malaysia (24.0%), the United Arab Emirates (12.2%), China (8.8%), Qatar (6.1%), and Singapore (5.4% - data Comtrade). Brunei maintains an open trade policy with a focus on fostering economic diversification. The country actively participates in trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Additionally, Brunei is a member of several regional trade agreements, including the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The country is also part of the regional grouping Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, which aims to increase the economic integration of these countries into a vibrant economy.

Brunei has a structural trade surplus. According to figures from WTO, in 2022, the country exported goods worth USD 14.2 billion, importing for USD 9.1 billion (+28.6% and +6.1% y-o-y, respectively). Concerning services, exports stood at USD 282 million against USD 1.1 billion in imports. The World Bank estimated the Sultanate trade surplus to account for 25.8% of GDP in 2022, up from 13.2% one year earlier, thanks to higher global hydrocarbon prices. Data from the Department of Economic Planning and Development show that, in 2023, total trade amounted to BND 25,149.3 million, down from BND 32,287.9 million in 2022. The trade balance for 2023 was BND 5.0449 billion, compared to BND 6.9593 billion in 2022.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,1035,3438,5759,1846,317
Exports of Goods (million USD) 7,0396,60811,05814,2309,090
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,8061,2069031,1371,658
Exports of Services (million USD) 618351205288348
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 14-22910n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 15897n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 2,2111,3592,6795,153n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 109110147147n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 51536761n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 58578086n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Australia 20.6%
Japan 17.4%
China 15.6%
Singapore 13.6%
Malaysia 10.1%
See More Countries 22.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Malaysia 24.0%
United Arab Emirates 12.2%
China 8.8%
Qatar 6.1%
Singapore 5.4%
See More Countries 43.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

14.2 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 36.3%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 28.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 15.3%
Cyclic hydrocarbonsCyclic hydrocarbons 14.2%
Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl. those in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 1.7%
See More Products 4.4%
9.2 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 59.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.1%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 2.0%
Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801...Parts of aircraft and spacecraft of heading 8801 or 8802, n.e.s. 1.6%
See More Products 28.6%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), AFTA and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.

 

 

Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy
Barriers to exchanges
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
6.6%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), AFTA and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.

 

 

Useful Resources
Royal Customs & Excise Department
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2024