About Brunei
Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, it is completely surrounded by the State of Sarawak, Malaysia, and is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak.

Geography

Geography

  •  Area: 5,765 sq. km. (2,226 sq. mi.)
  • Cities: Capital–Bandar Seri Begawan.
  • Terrain: East–flat coastal plain rises to mountains; west–hilly lowland with a few mountain ridges.
  • Climate: Equatorial; high temperatures, humidity, and rainfall. 
Government
  • Type: Sultanate (Malay Islamic Monarchy).
  • Independence: January 1, 1984.
  • Constitution: 1959.
  • Branches:

Executive–Sultan is both head of state and Prime Minister, presiding over a 14-member cabinet.
Legislative–a Legislative Council has been reactivated after a 20-yearsuspension to play an advisory role for the Sultan.
Judicial (based; on Indian penal code and English common law)–magistrates courts, High Court, Court of Appeals, Judicial Committee of the Privy   Council    (sits in London).

  • Subdivisions:

Four districts–Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong, and Temburong

People

People

  • Nationality: Noun and adjective–Bruneian(s).
  • Population (July 2015 est.): 429,646 (Source: CIA).
  • Annual population growth rate (2009 est., Government of Brunei): 1.62% (Source: CIA, 2015 est.).
  • Ethnic groups: Malay, Chinese, other indigenous groups.
  • Religion: Islam.
  • Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects.
  • Education: Years compulsory–9. Literacy (2006)–94.7%.
  • Health: Life expectancy–men 74.6 years, women 79.4 years. Infant mortality rate – 10.16/1,000 (Source: CIA, 2015 est.).
  • Currency – Brunei Dollar – BND – B$
  • 1 US Dollar = 1.34 Brunei Dollar (July 2016)
  • 1 Brunei Dollar (BND) = 0.74 US Dollar (USD) (July 2016)
Economy
Brunei is ranked as having one of the highest rates of macroeconomic stability in the world and the highest in Asia. Brunei’s economic policies have insulated it from much of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. Brunei is the fourth-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, averaging about 175,000 barrels a day in 2008. It is also the ninth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world (according to the Brunei Economic Development Board). Oil and natural gas account for almost all exports. Brunei has had a significant trade surplus throughout the past decade, owing to its liberal trade import policies.

GDP (2009, Government of Brunei): U.S. $12.0 billion (BND 15.6 billion; 2009 GDP figures released by Department of Economic Planning and Development).
Natural resources: Oil and natural gas.
Trade: Exports–oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products, garments. Major markets–Japan, Korea, Indonesia, India, Australia. Imports–machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods. Major suppliers–ASEAN, United States, European Union, Japan, China.

Foreign reserves
Brunei’s substantial foreign reserves are managed by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), an arm of the Ministry of Finance. BIA’s guiding principle is to increase the real value of Brunei’s foreign reserves while pursuing a diverse investment strategy, with holdings in the United States, Japan, Western Europe, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
International Relations
Brunei joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on January 7, 1984—a week after resuming full independence and gives its ASEAN membership the highest priority in its foreign relations. The chairmanship of ASEAN will rotate to Brunei in 2013. Brunei joined the UN in September 1984. It also is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Brunei hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2000 and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in July 2002.
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