Under the magnanimous leadership of His Royal Highness Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III, Brunei Darussalam is in the midst of pursuing a 30-year development plan known as the Brunei Darussalam Long Term Development Plan. The Plan aims to place the economy in the top ten globally in the areas of quality of life and income per capita (Wawasan Vision 2035). Once this goal is achieved, Brunei Darussalam shall also emerge into a prime hub of economic activities.
Brunei 2035 aims to make Brunei Darussalam into a nation which will be widely recognized for the accomplishment of its well-educated and highly skilled people measured by the highest international standards; quality of life that is among the top 10 nations in the world; and a dynamic and sustainable economy with income per capita within the top 10 countries in the world.
The Brunei’s Vision 2035, (also known as ‘Wawasan Brunei 2035’), clearly defined three goals, as follows:
- To ensure well-educated, highly-skilled and accomplished Bruneians;
- To ensure a high quality of life; and
- To build a dynamic and sustainable economy.
An important feature of the Vision is the incorporation of strategies and policy directions for development that will provide proper directions to achieve the stated goals. The first Outline of Strategies and Policy for Development (2007-2017) elaborates eight strategies, which covers all aspects of socio-economic development, namely:
- Institutional organization;
- Local business development;
- Social security; and
These eight Strategies are used as a guide to policy makers, regulators and implementers towards realizing the Vision 2035. In order to prepare development programs and projects into a more manageable time periods, Brunei Darussalam designs a five-yearly National Development Plan. This plan is to manage all new and on-going programs and projects in line with the strategies and policy directions.
Brunei Darussalam’s ANSSR priorities are derived primarily through extracting elements of structural reforms from the Vision. This exercise involved continuous engagement with stakeholders including non-government organizations (NGOs), academia, business community and civil service in aligning their respective development initiatives and plans to the Vision 2035.
In ensuring progressive contribution to the Vision 2035, monitoring and evaluation process has been adopted. This comprises of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which measure progress towards achieving the Vision. Furthermore, programs and projects supporting the vision are also subject to scrutiny based on three fundamental criteria, namely, prospective contribution to growth, policy relevance, and implementation capacity of the agencies.
Wawasan Brunei 2035 or Brunei Vision 2035, inaugurated by the government of Brunei in 2007, aims to transform the country with a focus on achieving international standards in education and skills development for its citizens. Achieving a better quality of life which is comparable to the world’s top ten countries and a dynamic and sustainable economy are the other goals of Vision 2035.
The office of the Prime Minister, plays a leading role in steering and coordinating actions towards the effective execution of the government functions in pursuance of Wawasan 2035.
The strategic plan of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) outlines three core themes – leadership excellence and policy expertise; good governance and government accountability and high impact policy making. The Government of Brunei Darussalam, in its quest to diversify the country’s economy, has identified five key investment priority clusters which are halal, innovative technology & creative industry, business services, tourism and downstream oil & gas industry. These sectors capitalize on Brunei Darussalam’s strength as a strong Islamic nation with its abundant natural resources and highly-educated skilled people. The government is trying to leverage the country’s location virtually in the middle of the ASEAN region, as a base from which to do business in.
Commenting on Wawasan Brunei 2035, His Royal Highness Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III said, Brunei Vision 2035 should not be seen as mere rhetoric and an empty dream, but must be realized wholly as a core national development agenda.
In delivering a decree when chairing the first meeting of Brunei Vision 2035 Supreme Council for the year 2023 at Istana Nurul Iman in February 2023, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Brunei said, “I was informed of the efforts to strengthen the strategic implementation and action plan that drives towards attaining the core aspiration of the Vision through the Manpower Blueprint for the first goal led by the Ministry of Education and Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC).
“The second goal, the Social Blueprint, is spearheaded by the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Council on Social Welfare (MKIS) and the Economic Blueprint as the third goal, led by the Ministry of Finance and Economy”.
His Royal Highness added, “With these blueprints, I hope the nation can transform action including the alignment with the national development project needs”.
“I also hope that the meeting at the committee working level of Brunei Vision 2035 will be benefitted fully as a platform of the whole of government to unite issues”.
His Royal Highness Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III added, “Brunei Vision 2035 is the citizens’ and residents’ high hope to see action taken via the Supreme Council to be more focused and people-centric. Hence, more work needs to be done.
“The implementation of initiatives alone is not yet adequate if not followed by an evaluation on the initiatives for its outcome and effectiveness. It is hoped that we are more forward planning to bring the nation big changes that we are waiting for” the Sultan of Brunei said.
“Hence, all parties should not ease up but jointly step up efforts to realize the aspirations that have been set.
“The party responsible for implementation should not give lukewarm or cold responses to challenges. It is crucial that any tasks involving the management of the nation is not free of challenges”.
His Royal Highness the Sultan also said, “I was made to understand that many efforts have been made to realize Brunei Vision 2023, but the question is how much have we produced when it is only 12 years away.
“In this unpredictable global climate, Brunei is not exempted of its effects, such as geo-political conflicts, Covid-19 pandemic and uncertain economic situations. It forces us to think and be more focused on policy and capability”.
His Royal Highness also noted that the establishment of Brunei Vision occurred in a different time.
“To view it as relevant and superior, we should ensure that whatever is planned will be lasting.
“It underlines the importance of Brunei Vision 2035 which should be given appropriate attention amid difficult challenges brought on by rapid changes by focusing on attaining the aspirations that have been planned”, the Sultan said.
“The updating of members of the Brunei Vision 2035 Supreme Council aims to make it a core platform for the whole of government. With Cabinet Ministers being its members, it is hoped to spark big new ideas and transformation to ensure the well-being of the people and the nation’s prosperity are secured”.
More about Wawasan Brunei 2035
In January 2021, Brunei Darussalam introduced the world to its Economic Blueprint. This provides detailed guidelines to accomplish the final step in Wawasan Brunei – a plan that was created a few years back.
His Royal Highness the Sultan launched Wawasan Brunei 2035 in 2007 as the country’s answer to economic diversification. Brunei generates a majority of its revenue from petroleum alone, which accounts for 95% of the entire country’s exports.
Wawasan Brunei 2035 was designed to ensure that the people of the country become highly skilled and accomplished by 2035. This is, in time, expected to bring about an improved quality of life and create a robust, dynamic, and sustainable economy.
Today, Brunei is just a step away from the finish line. With each passing day, Brunei is proudly inching closer to recognizing its dream of building a robust and self-sufficient economy.
Editorial team of Blitz expresses warmest felicitations to His Royal Highness Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III, members of the royal family, cabinet members and people of Brunei for gradual accomplishments of Wawasan Brunei 2025. This newspaper expresses willingness of playing role as a media partner of this excellent endeavor.
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