Brunei budget focuses on business environment

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Brunei mosqueBrunei’s 2014/15 budget which came into effect on April 1 has a strong business focus, seeking to promote investment, stimulate and support private sector growth, and help provide the tools and skills needed to sustain economic development and diversity, the Borneo Post reported.

While the budget maintains high levels of spending on social welfare and community development programmes, with health, housing and education among the major recipients of funding, there were also a number of provisions aimed at boosting private sector activity.

The focus has been set on enhancing education and training, stimulating investment and private sector growth, increasing economic productivity and ensuring social welfare. The government’s theme for the forthcoming fiscal year was “generating economic growth, establishing job opportunities”, underscoring the document’s business-friendly emphasis.

The budget is intended to assist the private sector in maintaining the momentum it had in 2013, when it expanded by 3.8 per cent, above the 3.2 per cent growth in the public sector. Among the leading non-oil contributors to economy last year were business services, retail, construction and finance.

In total, the budget set out spending of $4.68 billion for the fiscal year, up 10.1 per cent from 2013/2014. With projected revenue of $5.2 billion, Brunei Darussalam is expected to see a modest surplus, in part driven by higher energy earnings, as well as private sector growth and consumption.

Around $900 million of the budget’s spending will be allocated as part of the 10th National Development Plan, channeled towards projects across the utilities, transportation, communication, industrial and trade sectors. The private sector is expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of these investments, both as an end-user of improved services and through the opportunity to bid for government contracts related to the range of projects being rolled out.

Increased spending on technology, vocational education, and research and development will also likely have a positive effect on businesses.

There were other inducements in the budget for companies, with the announcement that the corporate tax rate would be reduced from 20 per cent to 18.5 per cent by 2015, a move aimed at bolstering investment and making the economy more competitive. Other incentives for the corporate sector include the lowering of taxes on profits and changes to the requirements for bank guarantees or performance bonds for construction or service contracts.

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Brunei’s 2014/15 budget which came into effect on April 1 has a strong business focus, seeking to promote investment, stimulate and support private sector growth, and help provide the tools and skills needed to sustain economic development and diversity, the Borneo Post reported. While the budget maintains high levels of spending on social welfare and community development programmes, with health, housing and education among the major recipients of funding, there were also a number of provisions aimed at boosting private sector activity. The focus has been set on enhancing education and training, stimulating investment and private sector growth, increasing economic...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brunei mosqueBrunei’s 2014/15 budget which came into effect on April 1 has a strong business focus, seeking to promote investment, stimulate and support private sector growth, and help provide the tools and skills needed to sustain economic development and diversity, the Borneo Post reported.

While the budget maintains high levels of spending on social welfare and community development programmes, with health, housing and education among the major recipients of funding, there were also a number of provisions aimed at boosting private sector activity.

The focus has been set on enhancing education and training, stimulating investment and private sector growth, increasing economic productivity and ensuring social welfare. The government’s theme for the forthcoming fiscal year was “generating economic growth, establishing job opportunities”, underscoring the document’s business-friendly emphasis.

The budget is intended to assist the private sector in maintaining the momentum it had in 2013, when it expanded by 3.8 per cent, above the 3.2 per cent growth in the public sector. Among the leading non-oil contributors to economy last year were business services, retail, construction and finance.

In total, the budget set out spending of $4.68 billion for the fiscal year, up 10.1 per cent from 2013/2014. With projected revenue of $5.2 billion, Brunei Darussalam is expected to see a modest surplus, in part driven by higher energy earnings, as well as private sector growth and consumption.

Around $900 million of the budget’s spending will be allocated as part of the 10th National Development Plan, channeled towards projects across the utilities, transportation, communication, industrial and trade sectors. The private sector is expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of these investments, both as an end-user of improved services and through the opportunity to bid for government contracts related to the range of projects being rolled out.

Increased spending on technology, vocational education, and research and development will also likely have a positive effect on businesses.

There were other inducements in the budget for companies, with the announcement that the corporate tax rate would be reduced from 20 per cent to 18.5 per cent by 2015, a move aimed at bolstering investment and making the economy more competitive. Other incentives for the corporate sector include the lowering of taxes on profits and changes to the requirements for bank guarantees or performance bonds for construction or service contracts.

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