Bruneiís GDP growth projected at 2.3pc this year
Azlan Othman

BRUNEI Darussalamís economic outlook this year will depend on several factors involving the global economy, international demand for oil, rate of production for oil and gas, expenditures as well as investments by the government and private sector.

aking into account these factors, the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) has projected that the economy would grow at 2.3 per cent this year, led by the non-oil and gas sector that is forecasted to expand at three per cent.

This was highlighted by the Minister of Finance II at the Prime Ministerís Office, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim in his budget deliberation to supply $6.1 billion out of the consolidated funds for the service of the Financial Year 2013/2014 and to appropriate such sums for certain purposes.

The minister revealed that for 2012-2013, the nation faced many situations where the average oil price and production rate experienced a decline compared to the previous financial year. This was also overshadowed by the increased government expenditure that has slightly affected the fiscal balance of the government.

With global and domestic economic prospects mentioned below and the scenario for the oil and gas revenue, the estimated government revenue for 2013-2014 is projected to be $5,791,931,000.

Such projection is made by taking into account the revenue from the oil and gas sector estimated to be $4,999.35 million or 86.3 per cent and the non-oil and gas sector estimated to be at $792.58 million or 13.7 per cent of the overall revenue. Such amount has decreased by $496 million compared to the estimated revenue for the 2012-2013 Financial Year.

The countryís economic growth in 2012 was expected to expand at 0.7 per cent led by the non-oil and gas sector that was forecasted to rise at four per cent while the oil and gas sector constituted a negative growth of 3.2 per cent.

For 2013, the global economic performance is forecasted to be weak and overshadowed by uncertainties. The IMF has revised its growth and expects a downward trend. For instance, the global growth is forecasted to grow at 3.6 per cent compared to early forecast of 3.9 per cent predicted in July 2012.

Global trade would only expand at 4.5 per cent compared to early forecast of 5.1 per cent. The Eurozone crisis and debts in developed countries have not revealed any ending sign. Despite the challenges faced globally, our nation still continues to achieve a positive development.

YB Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman highlighted the government continues to practice prudency in managing its finance. The sustainable fiscal policy requires they spend as planned according to priorities and abilities. With such policies, the nation is able to handle the current economic situation effectively despite the uncertain global economy. The nationís strong finances have enabled the government to implement projects and efforts to enhance the prosperity of the people.

The country needs a dynamic economy that is sustainable. To achieve this, it requires human capital. With the blessings from Allah the Almighty and the wise leadership of His Majesty, the nation will continue to produce a pious, knowledgeable and visionary workforce. - Borneo Bulletin (10 March 2013)