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Oil-rich Brunei sees economic risks
 


June 30, 2008

Oil-rich Brunei sees economic risks
The challenge of inflation and prospects of rising unemployment are prompting Brunei, an oil-rich sultanate in Southeast Asia, to review its economic policies and work towards sustaining the quality of life the citizens currently enjoy, reported a local daily.

Brunei's economic growth must exceed its population growth for it to increase its per capita income, Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) acting chairman Dato Paduka Timothy Ong was quoted by Brunei Times as saying Sunday, during an interview to Radio Television Brunei's 'Dialogue' talk show.

Brunei has recently been facing inflation rates that are becoming more challenging, despite the sultanate's low figures in comparison to other countries, Dato Timothy said

"Due to hike in prices of commodities worldwide, our country has been recently experiencing inflation rates that are becoming more challenging. We are fortunate that the government provides us with subsidies for some basic goods, such as rice, sugar and petrol," said Dato Timothy, warning that, “such subsidies are not sustainable in the long term."

The official also called for the creation of a more conducive business environment for local entrepreneurs and foreign investors, noting that Brunei's ranking of 78 out of 178 countries in the World Bank's recent "Ease of Doing Business" report,
which lags far behind Singapore, Malaysia, Oman or Kuwait.


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