Brunei defense budget to be raised by 5%

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Brunei Royal NavyBrunei’s Legislative Council proposed an increase of the defense budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year of about five per cent to 564 million Brunei dollars ($408 million). This amounts to about ten per cent of the state’s total national yearly expenditure and represents around 2.5 per cent of GDP.

The raise comes after Brunei slashed its military expenditure for the current fiscal year 2015-16 by over 25 per cent amid rapidly declining income from oil exports. The defense budget in the present period is 537 million Brunei dollars, down from the previous year’s 719 million Brunei dollars.

Government officials said that the small increase for the upcoming fiscal year in defense spending was a result of “continuing austerity measures” due to prevalent low oil prices. Even though the large majority of the budget, 330 million Brunei dollars, will be spent for staff,  military personnel faces a salary decrease of two per cent in the upcoming fiscal year.

ASEAN_Defense_Spending_GDP_Govt
Click to enlarge

In relative terms, Brunei is among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, with the highest military expenditure. According to 2014 data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, as a percentage of GDP and of total annual government spending, Brunei comes third behind Singapore and Myanmar. Per capita military spending is second highest behind Singapore and almost ten-fold of that of third-ranking Malaysia, and the allocation steadily rose by 35 per cent from 2010 to 2014.

But with the country’s economy suffering from prolonged recession, pressure on government finances increased significantly and now also affects the normally generous defense budget. Despite the Ministry of Defense assuring that Brunei’s military capabilities would remain intact, measures have been introduced to make defense management more “cost-effective.”

ASEAN_Per-Capita-Military-Expenditure-2014
Click to enlarge

Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, dominant countries are topping up their defense budgets amid brewing geopolitical tensions and China beefing up its military strength. China accounts for more than a third of the region’s total defense spending with $146 billion allocated for 2016, up 7.6 per cent over the previous year, and it is likely to continue expanding its defense budget to $255 billion by 2020 despite a slowing economy. Japan and South Korea round up the top three, after having spent $49 billion and $35 billion in 2015, respectively.

Within ASEAN, Indonesia and the Philippines saw the biggest spending jump of 12 and 20 per cent, respectively, from 2014 to 2015.

Overall, by 2020, total defense spending in Asia-Pacific is forecast to hit $533 billion, up from a total of $435 billion in 2015 according to a study released on February 21 by UK-based military publisher IHS Jane’s.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brunei’s Legislative Council proposed an increase of the defense budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year of about five per cent to 564 million Brunei dollars ($408 million). This amounts to about ten per cent of the state’s total national yearly expenditure and represents around 2.5 per cent of GDP.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brunei Royal NavyBrunei’s Legislative Council proposed an increase of the defense budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year of about five per cent to 564 million Brunei dollars ($408 million). This amounts to about ten per cent of the state’s total national yearly expenditure and represents around 2.5 per cent of GDP.

The raise comes after Brunei slashed its military expenditure for the current fiscal year 2015-16 by over 25 per cent amid rapidly declining income from oil exports. The defense budget in the present period is 537 million Brunei dollars, down from the previous year’s 719 million Brunei dollars.

Government officials said that the small increase for the upcoming fiscal year in defense spending was a result of “continuing austerity measures” due to prevalent low oil prices. Even though the large majority of the budget, 330 million Brunei dollars, will be spent for staff,  military personnel faces a salary decrease of two per cent in the upcoming fiscal year.

ASEAN_Defense_Spending_GDP_Govt
Click to enlarge

In relative terms, Brunei is among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, with the highest military expenditure. According to 2014 data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, as a percentage of GDP and of total annual government spending, Brunei comes third behind Singapore and Myanmar. Per capita military spending is second highest behind Singapore and almost ten-fold of that of third-ranking Malaysia, and the allocation steadily rose by 35 per cent from 2010 to 2014.

But with the country’s economy suffering from prolonged recession, pressure on government finances increased significantly and now also affects the normally generous defense budget. Despite the Ministry of Defense assuring that Brunei’s military capabilities would remain intact, measures have been introduced to make defense management more “cost-effective.”

ASEAN_Per-Capita-Military-Expenditure-2014
Click to enlarge

Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, dominant countries are topping up their defense budgets amid brewing geopolitical tensions and China beefing up its military strength. China accounts for more than a third of the region’s total defense spending with $146 billion allocated for 2016, up 7.6 per cent over the previous year, and it is likely to continue expanding its defense budget to $255 billion by 2020 despite a slowing economy. Japan and South Korea round up the top three, after having spent $49 billion and $35 billion in 2015, respectively.

Within ASEAN, Indonesia and the Philippines saw the biggest spending jump of 12 and 20 per cent, respectively, from 2014 to 2015.

Overall, by 2020, total defense spending in Asia-Pacific is forecast to hit $533 billion, up from a total of $435 billion in 2015 according to a study released on February 21 by UK-based military publisher IHS Jane’s.

 

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