The Brunei Darussalam Economy is projected to experience strong growth next year and in 2020. The projection was among the matters touched upon in a keynote address to several economic experts at the 48th ASEAN Banking Council Meeting yesterday morning. The development of ASEAN banking after facing the Asia financial crisis 18 years ago was also among the matters discussed.

Doctor Aladdin D Rillo, Deputy Secretary General for the ASEAN Economic Community, (AEC) in his keynote address shared that since the Asia financial crisis 18 years ago, ASEAN has thrived in the financial sector. He added that many ASEAN countries have aligned and structured their respective products and banking services and that progress has allowed the region to attract investors in the flow of trade and capital. According to him, it has also strengthened the banking industry and increased foreign participation in the ASEAN domestic market.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rajiv Biswas, Executive Director and Asia-Pacific Chief Economic Expert, IHS Markit in his briefing provided a picture on the Brunei economy which is expected to grow strongly over the medium term with real GDP growth forecast at 5.8 percent for 2019 and 7 percent for 2020. The key factor supporting the rapid growth of the Brunei economy is the strong increase in the price of Asian Liquified Natural Gas, LNG, during the past 18 months combined with the construction of the new petrochemicals megaproject which is expected to begin production next year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Soon Loo, Chief Executive Officer of the Brunei Economic Development Board in his talk entitled 'Investment Opportunity in Brunei' highlighted 5 priority business clusters in the country namely the Halal Industry; Business Service, Technology and Creative Industry, Tourism and downstream oil and gas.

Source: Radio Television Brunei