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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

IMF Country Report No. 21/251