Brunei has significant potential to become Islamic economy

National 1 minute, 55 seconds


BRUNEI has a significant potential to grow as an Islamic economy, being one of the top 15 countries in Thomson Reuters Global Islamic Economy Index.

“Brunei has performed very well, it is top 15 in the index and is particularly strong in a number of sectors including food, finance, travel and pharmaceuticals,” said Mustafa Adil, head of research and product development for Islamic finance at global intelligence firm Thomson Reuters.

The Thomson Reuters Global Islamic Economy Index was published in the latest State of the Islamic Economic report.

The report said the Islamic economy consists of core sectors and its associated eco-system that are structurally affected by Islamic value-driven consumer lifestyle and business practices.

The Islamic economy has seven sectors: food, finance, clothing, travel, media/recreation, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Brunei scored 33.3 in the overall index score. In comparison, Indonesia scored 33.8, Saudi Arabia 46.6 and the top scorer is Malaysia, which scored 111.5 and led significantly in many of the sub-indicators.

The second highest is the United Arab Emirates at 71.6 and the third is Bahrain at 64.8.

Mustafa said Brunei has “performed well” in most of the seven sectors of the Islamic economy analysed by Thomson Reuters.

“If you take halal food for example, most of Brunei’s consumption and trade is with OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) countries, predominantly in Southeast Asia; if you look at the governance side, there is a reasonable level of infrastructure,” he told The Brunei Times yesterday.

He said the Sultanate has implemented standards that cover different aspects of the halal food industry and the appropriate networks through the ASEAN trading system.

Mustafa said Brunei can also be developed as a base for manufacturing halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics given its strategic location and the government’s funding support for research and development.

While Malaysia leads significantly compared to other countries listed in the indicator, Mustafa said that the Malaysian example might not be appropriate for all countries.

“Don’t look at the indicator as a ranking system. That’s not the purpose. The purpose (of the index) is for different countries to identify areas where they are lacking and if they have competitive advantage for a particular sector,” he said.

The Bahrain-based Mustafa is in Brunei to speak at the three-day International Food and Biotech Investment Conference which ends today.

The Brunei Times