Brunei is a tiny nation on the island of Borneo, in 2 distinct sections surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea. It’s known for its beaches and biodiverse rainforest, much of it protected within reserves. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is home to the opulent Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque and its 29 golden domes. The capital’s massive Istana Nurul Iman palace is the residence of Brunei’s ruling sultan.
Border countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands. Climate: Temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid and cloudy. Terrain: Flat coastal plains in the northwest, central rolling hills and rugged mountains of the Ardennes Forest in the south-east
Key cities in Brunei include: Bandar seri begawan, Kuala Belait seria, Tutong, Bangar.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Brunei was trading with China during the 6th century, and, through allegiance to the Javanese Majapahit kingdom (13th to 15th century), it came under Hindu influence. … But Brunei fell into decay and lost Sarawak in 1841, becoming a British protectorate in 1888 and a British dependency in 1905.
The culture of Brunei is strongly influenced by Malay cultures and the Islamic religion. The culture is also influenced by the demographic makeup of the country: more than two-thirds of the population are Malay, and the remainder consists of Chinese, Indians and indigenous groups such as Dayaks, Dusuns and Kedazans.
Brief Country History
Early accounts on Brunei history can be traced back in the 6th Century when they were reportedly doing trade with China. Islam allegedly arrived in Brunei in the 12th century based on some relics found. Hindu influence came through allegiance to the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom between the 13th and 15th centuries. During the decline of the Majapahit Kingdom, there was widespread conversion into Islam which Brunei succumbed into and eventually became an independent sultanate in the 15th century. From the 16th to the 19th century, Brunei became a powerful state ruling over the northern part of Borneo up to the nearby islands. Brunei started to lose control over the territory when they lost Sarawak in 1841 and eventually becoming a British protectorate in 1881 and in 1905, they were dependent on the British. During World War II, Brunei had fallen under the Japanese regime, along with neighboring states until 1945 when they were liberated by Australia.
The sultanate slowly got back into power and in 1959, regained the controls over its internal affairs. Britain retained the responsibility for the state’s defense program and foreign affairs policies until 1984. After this, the sultanate of Brunei became fully independent.
Sultan Bolkiah began his reign at age 22 in 1967 when his father, Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien, abdicated the throne. The sultanate became wealthy during his reign mainly because Brunei had cultivated the rich Seria oilfield. Up to now, Brunei is one of the wealthiest nations in Asia with a very high per capita income. The sultan is considered one of the richest men in the world. Sultan Bolkiah inaugurated his heir to the 500-year-old monarchy, the Oxford-educated Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, in August 199
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The local dialect, Melayu Brunei (Brunei Malay), is the most widely spoken language. It is spoken by about 266,000 people. About 84% of its words are cognate with Standard Malay, while 94% are reported to be cognate with Kedayan.
Important Types of Commerce in Brunei
The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei has a small but prosperous economy. The country’s industrial sector accounts for 63.1% of the national GDP, and the economy is heavily dependent on the export of crude oil and natural gas. Brunei is Southeast Asia’s third-largest producer of oil and the world’s ninth biggest liquefied natural gas producer. Brunei’s oil production reached a peak in 1979, achieving a production rate of 240,000 barrels per day, but the current output is about 200,000 barrels per day. The fall in production is a result of a deliberate attempt to save oil reserves for the future.
The major industries in Brunei are listed below.
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Petrochemical Industry
- Other Industries in Brunei
Since Brunei’s current economy is highly reliant on oil and natural gas resources, both of which are non-renewable, the economy is highly susceptible to global oil price drops. Thus, the government is attempting to diversify the economy. However, little success has been achieved to date. The non-petroleum-based industries in Brunei include banking, fishing, forestry, construction, and agriculture.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Brunei
Brunei’s official language is Malay, with English, Hokkien, and Mandarin also widely spoken. Industries that do business with Brunei need professional translation and interpreting services to tap into this market as they use several languages. Without translation and interpreting it is impossible for an international company to sell its product or services in this market. Professional translation and interpretation are required to transcend the language barrier. No translation or interpretation may result in anything from misunderstandings in a business arrangement to the misapplication of medical treatments, diplomatic conflicts or even wars. Translators and interpreters must always be impartial and faithful to the original text or speech; they should be limited to the translation, or interpretation, of the speaker’s words, no more, no less.
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