Brunei Darussalam's exports are highly dependent on fuel products. In fact, in 2017 chemical, industrial and fuel products comprised 93.4 percent of the country's exports; the rest being shared by machinery and complex manufactured products (5.2 percent), metals and articles thereof (0.8 percent), manufactured consumer goods (0.4 percent), and food and agriculture (0.2 percent). 29.3 percent of its exports commodities went to Japan as the largest export partner. South Korea followed with 14.2 percent share, Malaysia with 11.2 percent, Thailand with 11.0 percent, and India with 9.8 percent.
On imports, the largest 37 percent was from machinery and complex manufactured products; chemical, industrial and fuel products followed at 19 percent. Metals and articles thereof accounted for the 16 percent, while food and agricultural commodities, and manufactured consumer goods have 15 percent and 13 percent shares, respectively. The major import market of Brunei in 2017 was China with 20.8 percent of the total imports. Singapore (18.5 percent), Malaysia (18.2 percent), USA (9.5 percent), and Germany (5.6 percent) complete the top list.
Brunei merchandise trade imports were valued at 2.7 billion euro in 2017, while exports were valued at 5.1 billion euro. On the other hand, trade in services imports were valued at 2 billion euro in 2016, while exports were valued at 0.4 billion euro.
Brunei's income is generally derived from sales of oil and gas, which contribute about 60 percent to the country's GDP. Substantial overseas revenue supplements the income from domestic hydrocarbon production. These two revenue streams suffice the living standards of Brunei's citizens, who are not required to pay taxes and are provided with free access to education, medical care, and housing and car fuel subsidies.
Majority of industrial estates in Brunei are located along the coastline and most were developed and are controlled by the Government through institutions such as the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) the Brunei Industrial Development Authority (BINA).
Since 2016, Brunei's FDI inflow has been in deficit by $150 million in 2016 and $46 million in 2017. FDI stock, however, is increasing from $5,739.3 million in 2016 to $6,162.5 in 2017. The largest FDI investors in Brunei, as of 2015, include Singapore with $40.5 million share investments, followed by United Kingdom ($34.6 million, Malaysia ($30.9 million), The Netherlands (20.4 million), and Germany ($4.4 million). Mining and quarrying sector receives the largest share of FDI.
HKTDC (2018). Brunei: Market Profile. Web Article dated 11 October 2018 (Retrieved through http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/The-Belt-and-Road-Initiative/Brunei-Market-Profile/obor/en/1/1X000000/1X0A3N9U.htm on 22 October 2018)
European Commission Directorate General for Trade. Brunei. Retrieved through http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_111483.pdf on 22 October 2018.
Santander Trade Portal (2018). Brunei Darussalam: Foreign Investment. (Retrieved through https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/brunei-darussalam/investing-3 on 22 October 2018).
KPMG (2018). ASEAN Business Guide: Brunei Darussalam.
https://www.export.gov/article?id=Brunei-Openness-to-and-Restriction-on-Foreign-Investment (Accessed on 24 October 2018)