Monday, February 26, 2024
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ADB forecasts 3.5pc growth for Sultanate in 2022

Azlan Othman

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Outlook report recently stated that Brunei Darussalam’s economic growth for this year is forecast to be 3.5 per cent, compared to 1.8 per cent last year.

Additionally, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ASEAN + 3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) recently projected positive economic growth for Brunei Darussalam this year at 2.6 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, after taking into account the recovery efforts made, particularly the production of downstream oil and gas industry products and related activities from Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd and Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI).

In the ADB report presented at the Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS), Director General of Southeast Asia Department of the ADB Ramesh Subramaniam said, “For 2022, growth in this region is expected to pick up to 5.1 per cent as 400 million or 59 per cent of the population in the region become fully vaccinated, enabling many economies to re-open.

“However, the spread of the Omicron variant will likely reduce the growth forecast for the year as it continues to cause widespread illness and partial lockdowns in the region.”

Despite a more favourable prognosis for 2022 compared to the previous year, the economic situation in the region remains fragile and many households continue to experience huge income losses.

Some traditional engines of growth such as hospitality, tourism, transport and personal services are still not expected to recover anytime soon. The region’s output level in 2022 is expected to remain at least 10 per cent below the no COVID-19 baseline despite improving recovery prospects.

Subramaniam said, “Looking ahead, one can still be optimistic about the prospects for Southeast Asia. Today, we are seeing more intensified efforts across the region to build back better and greener.

“As we continue to struggle to make sense of what our world will look like when this pandemic is over, one thing is certain: a return to ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. The only way forward is to build stronger and more resilient communities and nations. This can be accomplished by improving social assistance programmes, increasing support to micro and small enterprises, and expanding competitiveness and human capital.”