Brunei Major Strides in Overall Infrastructure Development



Core sector leap
December 5, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

BRUNEI Darussalam is making major strides in overall infrastructure development, scoring high among the Southeast Asian economies along with Indonesia and Singapore, according the latest global competitiveness report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF looked into quality as well as availability of roads, railroads, ports, air transport, electricity, and telephone services of each economy to produce an overall ranking.

The Sultanate scored 4.4 out of 7 in the 2017-2018 report and ranked 60th globally, from 3.9 out of 7 and 78th position in the previous report.

Brunei scored high in quality of roads with a score of 4.8 and ranking 33rd globally; electricity supply (score 5.4, ranking 53); and mobile phone subscription (score 120.7, ranking 61).

In terms of the availability of roads, Singapore received the highest score in Asean, attaining the second best position in the world, according to the 2017-2018 WEF report. Compared to the 2016-2017 scores, Indonesia is the most improved Asean economy in terms of quality of roads. It scored 4.10 out of 7 in the 2017-2018 report, jumping from 3.9 in the previous report.

Infrastructure is one of the pillars assessed by WEF, besides institutions, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

The latest WEF report saw Brunei Darussalam surging a significant 12 places from last year in the global competitiveness index, ranking 46 out of 137 economies worldwide with a total score of 4.5 out of 7.

The rankings also highlighted Brunei Darussalam as the most improved country in the Asean region overtaking the Philippines which was at one position higher than Brunei in the previous report.

Brunei is now in the top five most competitive economies in the Asean region behind Singapore (3 globally), Malaysia (23), Thailand (32) and Indonesia (36); followed by Vietnam (55), the Philippines (56), Cambodia (94) and Laos (98).

As the nation moves towards Brunei Vision 2035, several development projects are well underway as evidenced by the changing landscape of the country.

One major project, the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge that spans the water village to connect Jalan Residency in Bandar with Kampong Sungai Kebun in Lumapas, opened to the public just recently.

Another significant project, Pulau Muara Besar, is undergoing major infrastructure developments, including the construction of a deep water container terminal, export processing zone and manufacturing hub with all supporting commercial facilities and services linked to Pekan Muara by a bridge.

The mega Temburong Bridge linking Bandar Seri Begawan and Pekan Bangar, Seria Bypass and upgrading of irrigation and sewerage facilities, maintenance of coastal areas and river banks and the handling of flooding issues are some of the other significant infrastructure projects currently progressing.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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