Brunei in top 5 Asia-Pacific economies

National 1 minute, 24 seconds


BRUNEI DARUSSALAM has a per capita gross domestic product more than 13 times the regional average and ranks among the top five economies in developing Asia and the Pacific in terms of real per capita income, according to a study.

The 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP) in Asia and the Pacific: Purchasing Power Parity and Real Expenditure released yesterday showed a wide gap within the regional economies and highlighted the huge inequality in living standards among Asia-Pacific economies, excluding Japan and South Korea.

Results of the study coordinate by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also showed that Brunei's economy is more than 40 times larger than the lowest ranked economy, Nepal.

Ifzal Ali, ADB chief economist, said: "The study shows the growth and developmental challenges facing the region. The region has miles to go before celebrating its economic success."

The new study allows cross-country comparison of purchasing powers of currencies and living standards, the ADB said in a statement. The Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is a concept that utilises The Economist's Big Mac Index, which prices burgers in various global cities for a rough sketch of inter-country price levels.

The ICP is part of a global project organised by the World Bank which provides information that allows for comparison of economic indicators for 146 countries. The ICP, which accounts for half the world's population, encompasses information of a broader range of commodities in addition to being a cross-country comparison of key economic indicators based on PPP.

"The data and the results should be interpreted carefully. It is the beginning of a global and regional effort, which, in turn, will improve the robustness of future PPP estimates," Ali said.

The Brunei Times