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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

An External Sector Statistics (ESS) technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted remotely to Brunei Darussalam, during July 26–29, 2020, aimed at improving the quality of ESS, in line with the authorities’ request. This is the most recent TA mission on ESS to Brunei Darussalam following a previous one that took place more than 16 years ago by the IMF’s Statistics Department.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
An External Sector Statistics (ESS) technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted remotely to Brunei Darussalam, during July 26–29, 2020, aimed at improving the quality of ESS, in line with the authorities’ request. This is the most recent TA mission on ESS to Brunei Darussalam following a previous one that took place more than 16 years ago by the IMF’s Statistics Department.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

1. The Brunei economy has been buffeted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated oil and gas (O&G) price decline. The first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported in the Sultanate on March 9, 2020. The number of cases increased rapidly to 100 cases in just 15 days, with the first COVID-19 fatality reported on March 28, 2020. In addition to the health shock, Brunei had to contend with the pandemic-induced decline in global oil and gas prices, which dropped by 22 percent from 2019 to 2020. Thanks to early and decisive interventions, the authorities succeeded in suppressing the first wave of the outbreak (as of mid-July 2021, there had been no cases of community transmission since May 5, 2020) and rolled out economic relief measures to cushion the economic toll (Appendix I). As a result, the economy performed well in 2020, with real GDP posting 1.1 percent growth—a rare outcome amidst a sea of negative growth in the region.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

IMF Country Report No. 21/214

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Brunei’s economic performance—which was strong before the COVID-19 pandemic—has been buffeted by the health crisis and a pandemic-induced oil and gas price shock. The authorities responded fast and decisively. The number of new infections was quickly suppressed, thanks to a swift public health response, effective health measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions. Strong fiscal and regulatory policy responses helped sustain production and household income and consumption. Past diversification efforts and reforms bore fruit when it was most needed. As a result, the economy performed strongly in 2020, with real GDP posting positive growth of 1.1 percent—a rare outcome amidst negative growth in the region. Economic activity is projected to strengthen in 2021-22, albeit at varying speeds across sectors, and to continue improving over the medium term on the back of further diversification. The outlook is, however, subject to unusual uncertainty, with significant risks skewed to the downside. Sustained strong policy actions are needed to ensure continued resilience, while nurturing green, digital and inclusive growth.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

On behalf of Brunei Darussalam’s authorities, we would like to thank the Article IV Mission team for a constructive and fruitful consultation this year. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the virtual consultation went smoothly, and discussions were insightful.