Brunei: Corporate Investment
Availability of Skilled Workers and Business Infrastructure
The government regulates the immigration of foreign labor out of concern it might disrupt Brunei's society. Work permits for foreigners are issued only for short periods and must be continually renewed. Despite these restrictions, the estimated 100,000 foreign temporary residents of Brunei make up a significant portion of the work force. The government reported a work force of 188,800 in 2008, with a derived unemployment rate of 3.7% (BDSY).
The country is now in a new phase of development in its drive towards economic diversification and maturity. Per capita GDP is far above most other Third World countries, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and free education through the university level and subsidizes rice and housing.
Brunei's leaders are concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion, although it became a more prominent player by serving as chairman for the 2000 APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum.
Lawyers, auditors, doctors and other professionals also have to be approved by the Government. A full range of accounting and legal services is also available with many law firms and major accounting firms having significant presences in Brunei.
Foreign land ownership has not traditionally been allowed in Brunei Darussalam except with prior approval in writing of His Majesty in Council.
Brunei also offers vast land and a variety of facilities throughout all four districts of the country. The majority of the 12 industrial sites presently developed are ready and available for occupation. Large expanses for agroforestry and aquaculture are also available. Rental terms and tenancy agreements are competitive and the sites offer a range of facilities, infrastructure and resources.