Thanks to large oil and natural gas fields and a relatively small population, tiny Brunei easily ranks as one of the world’s wealthiest countries – meaning job opportunities in Brunei are largely concentrated in the energy and services sectors with expatriates making up a sizable percentage of the local workforce.
The Brunei Diaspora and Brunei Returnees
Foreign expatriate workers, mainly from Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and South Asia, actually account for over a third of Brunei’s total workforce. Otherwise, most of the residents of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) should actually be considered Bruneian plus many Bruneians now live completely overseas with the majority have migrated to Anglophone countries. Hence and according to the latest estimates regarding the size of the Brunei Diaspora, there are around 9,500 Bruneians living in the United Kingdom, approximately 7,000 living in the United States, around 5,000 in Australia and 1,500 in New Zealand.
The Brunei Recruitment Market
The Brunei economy and hence the Brunei recruitment market is dominated by oil and natural gas production while income from investments abroad (mostly made by the Brunei Investment Agency, an arm of the Ministry of Finance) further fuel the local economy. In recent years though, the government of Brunei has made an effort to make Bandar Seri Begawan a modest hub for international travel between Europe and Australia/New Zealand as well as for around SE Asia plus there have been efforts to strengthen the country’s banking and tourism sectors.
Working in Brunei
For foreign expatriates seeking employment in Brunei, their applications for a labor quota / license will normally be submitted to the Brunei Labour Department which will require either a cash deposit or a banker’s guarantee to cover the cost of a one-way airfare to the home country of the foreign expatriate. Upon approval of the quota, the Brunei Department of Immigration and National Registration will then issue a work permit that will allow a foreign expatriate to enter the country. For further information about Brunei visas or Brunei work permits, visit the website of the Brunei Department of Immigration and National Registration.
As for Brunei income taxes, there are none as Brunei only taxes corporations. There are also no capital gains, export, sales or payroll taxes in Brunei but all Citizen and Permanent Residents must contribute 5% of their salary to the Brunei managed provident fund and this contribution is also matched by Brunei employers. For further information about Brunei tax rates or Brunei’s taxes in general, visit taxrates.cc or the Brunei Ministry of Finance page.
Brunei Recruitment and Jobs Resources
For additional Brunei recruitment resources, check out the Brunei tagged posts from our Brain Drain to Brain Gain blog as well as our Brunei jobs page.