Brunei: Related Information
This page was last updated on 4 June 2019.
Since the establishment of the International Financial Centre (BIFC), Brunei has been a ‘dual jurisdiction’, whereby the international legislation offers ‘offshore’ facilities, alongside the usual range of "domestic" legislation drawn from that of England and Wales.
Before the IFC was formally established in July 2000, Brunei was already a busy commercial centre, as witnessed by the existing active presences in the Banking sector of HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Overseas Union Bank, RHB, Maybank, Baiduri Bank, Islamic Bank of Brunei Berhad, Islamic Development Bank of Brunei and the Brunei Islamic Trust Fund. A full range of accounting and legal services is also available with many law firms and major accounting firms having significant presences in Brunei.
Legislation passed in 2000 introduced a number of additional corporate forms which are available to business operations in the International Financial Centre, including International Business Companies, International Limited Partnerships, and International Trusts.
Unlike many IFCs, Brunei has the advantage of already being an affluent society based on the fossil-fuel economy. The country's motives in establishing an IFC regime are therefore more subtle and socio-economic than simply to generate an income-stream to supplement tourism.
The goals motivating the establishment of the IFC included developing the capacity to:
- Diversify, expand into and grow the value added financial service sector of the economy of Brunei and the Asia Pacific Region (APR) as a Tier One Player.
- Provide a secure, cost-effective, sensibly regulated IFC facility, which will offer a safe harbour for the conduct of significant regional and international business for corporate and private clients.
- Provide well-qualified Bruneians with purposeful, challenging and rewarding careers, following their educational advantages.
- Attract overseas professionals to assist in running the IFC to the highest standards.
- Encourage expatriate professionals to become involved in training and development of rewarding opportunities for professionally qualified and trained Bruneians in the International Business Sector.
- Increase returns for the hospitality, transport and amenity industries, including eco-tourism, culminating in an holistic result for the country's economy.
- Position Brunei as an equal partner in the globalisation of financial and commercial activity, and thereby, to generate greater communication with and between other nations.