Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brunei: Thinking of its future

The Economist Intelligence Unit (oooh!) dispatched a briefing on the Sultinate of Brunei's efforts to "future proof" their economy. Earlier this year the government of the oil-rich country unveiled its first long-term national development plan, dubbed Wawasan Brunei 2035.

From the Economist article:

Over the next 20 years or so Brunei's oil reserves are expected to run out, while in around 30 years the country's natural-gas resources will be depleted. Consequently, without a successful transition to non-energy-based industries and services, a much less pleasant future for Brunei could await. Wawasan Brunei 2035 focuses on the need to find a sustainable path for the non-oil economy. The plan also aims to raise the sultanate into the ranks of the top ten nations in the world in terms of GDP per head by 2035. (Brunei is already in the top 30 globally.) Wawasan Brunei 2035 aims to produce an administration devoted to the task of safeguarding the sultanate's long-term future.

Economies worldwide seem to be in transition and it would serve us well to keep an eye on this project. While learning from the successes and failures of such an effort, a great deal could be gathered about the effectiveness and implementations of these types of long-term strategies.

It's refreshing to see a nation of immense wealth adopt a policy of forward thinking. Many nations could and should learn lessons from this.

No comments: