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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  28 November 2014  

Low oil prices put pressure to diversify economy

Brunei:LOW global oil prices can put positive pressure on the private and public sector to diversify the economy, said the regional editor of Asia for the Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global publishing, research and consultancy firm.

Global oil prices have fallen about 30 per cent since June.

Speaking to The Brunei Times on Tuesday Paulius Kuncinas, regional editor of Asia for OBG said that lower global oil prices would be a good “wake-up call” for the government and private sector.

“On some level, we welcome lower oil prices since this gives both government and private sector an incentive to look beyond oil and gas,” he said, stating it adds positive pressure for diversification.

“What low oil prices do is that they make you realise that you cannot rely on oil and gas forever. It creates an urgency to actually invest into new sectors,” he said. “It encourages the oil sector and private sector to look for new opportunities,” he said.

Kuncinas, who was speaking to BT after the release of The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2014 published by Oxford Business Group, also added that for now, lower oil prices will not have a major impact on the Brunei economy due to reserves that have been built up over years when prices were high. “I don’t see a dramatic impact. If we look in terms of expenditure priorities, I don’t see any major cuts,” he said.

He added that Brunei is in a situation where there is no cause for alarm. While a lower oil price may mean lower revenue for the budget and would put some pressure to streamline and rationalise expenditure, he said that the government had been prudent in its fiscal decisions.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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