(WIPO code: BN) (last revised January 2023)

by DREW & NAPIER LLC, Singapore

General Information


5,770 sq. km.


478,054 (2022).


Bandar Seri Begawan.

Ethnic groups

63.8% Malay, 10% Chinese, 23.3% others.


Malay (official), English, Chinese (various dialects).


Islam (official) 78.8%, Buddhism 7.8%, Christianity 8.7%, others 4.7%.


Brunei dollar (BND).

General Remarks

Geography: Brunei is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. It is bound by the South China Sea on the north and by Sarawak, a Malaysian State on all other sides. Sarawak divides Brunei into two separate enclaves, with the main part to the west.

Other major cities: Kuala Belait, Seria, Tutong.

Climate: tropical; hot, rainy and humid. There are no well-defined seasons.  Terrain: hilly lowland in the west; flat coastal plains that rise to mountains in the east.

Government: Brunei is a Constitutional Sultanate, independent since January 1, 1984.  Chief of State and Head of Government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir Hassanal Bolkiah (since October 5, 1967).  Legal system: based on English common law. For Muslims, Islamic Shari’a law supersedes civil law in some areas.

Economy: GDP: U.S.$ 12.779 billion (estimated 2021).  External debt: Brunei has no public external debt.  Industries: petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas and construction.  Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas and timber.  Imports: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and chemicals.  Exports: crude oil, natural gas and refined products.  Major trade partners: Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, various ASEAN countries, Australia, U.S.A.