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Brunei Darussalam

Region: 
Did you know: 

Brunei Darussalam is a monarchy.

Scholarships for doctoral study are awarded by Brunei Darussalam to citizens of other Commonwealth countries under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.

Key facts

Joined Commonwealth: 
1984
Population: 
418,000 (2013)
GDP: 
–0.5% p.a. 1990–2013
UN HDI: 
world ranking 30
Official language: 
Malay
Timezone: 
GMT plus 8hr
Currency: 
Brunei dollar (Br$)

Geography

Area: 
5,765 sq km
Coastline: 
161km
Capital city: 
Bandar Seri Begawan
Population density (per sq. km): 
73

Brunei Darussalam (Brunei – ‘Abode of Peace’) is a small state in South-East Asia on the north-west coast of the island of Borneo, in the Indonesian Archipelago. Its 161 km coastline faces the South China Sea. On the land side, it is enclosed by the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which divides it in two.

The districts of Brunei–Muara, Tutong and Belait make up the larger, western part of the country; Temburong district the east.

Main towns: 

Bandar Seri Begawan (capital, pop. 76,200 in 2009, comprising Kampong Ayer 42,500), Kuala Belait (28,400), Seria (28,300), Tutong (21,500), Muara and Bangar.

Transport: 

The country has 3,030 km of roads, 81 per cent paved. The main deep-water port is at Muara, with a dedicated container terminal. The Brunei, Belait and Tutong rivers provide an important means of transport. Passenger vessels and water-taxis run between the shallow draught port at Bandar Seri Begawan, Temburong district, and the Malaysian port of Limbang. Brunei International Airport is six km north-east of the capital.

International relations: 

Brunei Darussalam is a member of Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, United Nations and World Trade Organization.

Topography: 

The coastal plain is intersected by rivers descending from the hilly hinterland. To the east are mountains, the highest point being Bukit Pagon at 1,812m. Most towns and villages are beside estuaries.

Climate: 

Tropical, with high humidity and heavy rainfall. There is no distinct wet season; the wettest months are January and November. Much of the rain falls in sudden thundery showers.

Environment: 

The most significant environmental issue is seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia.

Vegetation: 

Mangrove swamps lie along the coast, and forest covers 72 per cent of the land area, a large part of this being primary forest, dense in places and of great genetic diversity. There are 15 forest reserves, covering about 40 per cent of the total land area. The government plans to increase the area of the forest reserves. Around 15 per cent of the land area is cultivated.

Wildlife: 

Most of the mammals are small and nocturnal, including tree shrews, moon rats and mouse deer. There are numerous bird species, especially hornbills. Some 33 mammal species and 22 bird species are thought to be endangered (2014).

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