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Brunei Darussalam

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BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

ABSTRACT People seem to forget that they're not the only ones that matter. When doing business with other business people, we need to keep in mind things they make them feel comfortable doing business with us. It's easier to tell what that might be when doing business within the US, but however, nowadays it's essential that we expand our horizons and seek economic advances. To do this we must communicate with others outside our country. However, we mustn't forget social differences and standards they're accustomed too. When doing business with world countries, their social formalities differ greatly from ours, which means we have more things to learn before we come in contact in them. By doing this we eliminate or significantly lower that chances of offending them or creating an awkward situation. This also allows for easier communication, and definitely a better possibility of succeeding in their country. The purpose of this paper is to help expatriates understand Brunei and their culture and practices.

INTRODUCTION Brunei is located south east of Asia, bordering the south China Sea and Malaysia. They came into existence when they regained their independence from the UK on January 1, 1984. This makes them a pretty young country, but their economic growth has been significant, where they averaged a 56% growth rate between 1999-2008. This put them as one of the fastest growing GDP/PPP in the world. Not only are they a young country, they are also relatively small. Their population which was reported in 2009 is only 388,190. Their populations consists of mostly citizens of Asian descent; Malaysians making up the majority of the population (66.5%), Chinese (11.2%), Indigenous (3.4%), and Other (19.1%). Their official religion is Islamic (67%), other major religions are Buddhism (13%), and Christianity (11%). Their official language is also Malay, with the Chinese language as secondary.1 They are a small and wealthy country which is widely known for their foreign and domestic entrepreneurship. Half of their GDP comes from the production of crude oil and natrual gas, and a substantial amount of their GDP also comes from overseas investment supplements from domestic production. Not much of them is known at this point since their existence is still relatively new.
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Not much is known about Brunei Darussalam before the 14th century. Most of their history before the Sultanate was sources recorded by the Chinese. Brunei was ruled by a Sultanate, which is an Islamic title for Muslim rulers who have almost completely ruling over a country, between the 14th and 16th century.2
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1 http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei
PHYSCHOGRAPHIC OF CULTURE
Religion
Religion also plays a huge part of their culture. Alcohol is banned from their country, for it is not allowed in their Islamic practices. They pray 5 times a day -- once at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Everything is closed on Fridays because it is considered a holy day. Government and Companies are also closed on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Government staffs work only six hour days during Ramadan, while entertainment and sporting activities are put on hold until the end of Ramadan.1
Women, Masculinity vs. Femininity Woman in Brunei are at an extreme disadvantage compared to men. Nowhere in government, or high power positions is there a women making decisions. All high powered positions on Brunei are held by men. To even be considered for such a job with power is extremely difficult for women who don't even have a college diploma. Even though women are eligible for government position with a diploma, there are no women who have actually obtained this position. Women who hold regular jobs are paid considerably lower than men of equal position. That is not the only way women are treated unfairly. According to Koranic practices, women do not hold equal rights to men when it comes to important areas such as divorce, inheritance, and the custody of their children. Not only that, citizenship aren't easily obtainable by women as well. The only way a citizenship can be transferred to their children is if their father has a citizenship. Even if a women was married to a foreign man, if they were to have kids their kids wouldn't obtain legal citizenship. It is estimated that more than 5,000 children are not citizens due to the Brunei Nationality Act, which disqualifies them the right to own land.2
Achievement
------------------------------------------------- Since Brunei is relatively new, there haven't been any relevant achievements. However, recently women have been enrolling in universities more frequently. Two-thirds of people enrolling in universities are women. This could possibly be the start of a great achievement for women. As more and more females receive an education, they will have a better opportunity to hold a more important position. That's only the beginning of a brighter and more successful future for women.3
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1 http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=140
2 http://www.onlinewomeninpolitics.org/brunei/bruneimain.htm
3 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/brunei.html
BEHAVIORISTIC
Culture Bruneian culture is based around respect and formality. Family is extremely important to them, and their elders are put on a pedestal; it is a hierarchal culture. Their children are taught to be devotedly respectful, and listen to their elders without question. Because respect is such an important factor, shame/honor comes hand in hand as well. They are very harmonious people, and very polite. At all costs they will avoid embarrassing each other which could harm them and lose face; in other words, they are indirect. This could make them to be confusing people, but you shouldn't just take their words literally, watching their body language is very important.1
Customs
The people of Brunei are very warm, and are kind to foreigners. They however, are very serious about their Islamic nation. To experience a more positive experience you should try to learn their customs, but you shouldn't be afraid to ask them questions because they are very willing to help you. There are a few main points that you should keep in mind: you shouldn't use your fingers to point; instead, you should use your thumb you point, with the fingers of your right hand tucked under your thumb. Also, do not smack your right hand into your left fist; this is considered very rude. It is also important to make sure you don't pass in front of someone who is praying in a mosque, and more importantly, do not touch a Koran.2
Business Etiquettes
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Unlike like Swedes where they value egalitarianism, Brunei is the exact opposite. Their way of communication is formal and should be respectful, especially towards those of older age and of high position. You should greet group starting from the oldest and working your way down. When speaking to a group about your proposal, their responses will often be in unison to avoid losing face or embarrassing others. Their way of communication is not very direct, and those who disagree usually just nod and agree if the majority of the others are in agreement. Also, your actions speak louder than words. When speaking, you should watch the tone of your voice, your body language, make lots of eye contact and show appropriate facial expression. They examine your actions more than anything. Also, cross gender handshakes are extremely rare. If you do come across doing business with a woman, you should wait for her to extend her hand. When Bruneian business men shake hands, they usually put their hands over their heart first before shaking. 3
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1 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/brunei.html
2 http://www.traveldojo.com/brunei/social-customs/
3 http://www.bruneidirecthys.net/about_brunei/doing_business.html Emotions should be concealed from foreigners, as Bruneians themselves try to not show any emotions since they find it embarrassing.
Business meetings Bruneians are more concerned about doing business with someone they have good relations with. To achieve this it is important to show your respect. Bruneians like to receive a list of those who are going to attend their meetings, so they may send others of the same level there as well. Along with that list of attendees should be a brief business biography of the people attending. They have great respect for their elders, so when entering a room it's commendable to send your eldest senior in first and seat them across from their senior. Doing this shows your respect for their culture, and in return earn their appreciation. When everyone is seated, it is common for Bruneian seniors to give a welcoming speech. Giving a few words of your own is admirable, but not necessary. Your first meeting will be more of a gathering. After the welcoming speech, it is usually followed by a short period of small conversations among both groups with each other. This happens because they like to be accustomed to those who they're doing business with, and will end when they're comfortable to begin. Rushing this process is not advised; it could harm your relationship with them indefinitely. So, it's encouraged that you try to get to know them.1
Visiting Brunei
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Brunei is still a relatively new country, so their country is still under developed. However, their tourism rates and income have been increasing at a good rate, giving them somewhat of a reliable income. Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is without a doubt a must be area if you were to ever find yourself in Brunei. It is rich with culture, and the area is magnificent and enchanting. You are able to witness, first hand, the religious institution where Koran’s go daily to meditate, the Omar Saifuddin Mosque. There is also a water village which is a beautiful area also recommended to visit, Kampung Ayer.2
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1 http://www.bruneidirecthys.net/about_brunei/doing_business.html>.
2 http://www.placesonline.com/asia/brunei/bandar_seri_begawan/introduction.asp

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM | | B: Country Business Facts GridRank Order things, One being most to ten least wherever possible | | CULTURAL | | | Maj Relg | Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and non-religious, Atheist or Agnostic 10% | | | | | Nat. Lang | Malay, English, Chinese | | Bus Langs | English, Malay | | Engl Lang Status | Most people do not understand English, English only spoken in the business world. | | POLITICAL | | | Govt Type | Islamic Absolute Monarchy | | Membership in 10 world orgs | Rank Order things, one being most to 10 least (RO) wherever possible | | GEOGRAPHICAL | | | Population | 388,190 | | Time difference | UTC/GMT +8 hours | | Flying time from JFK, NY to Host | 15 hours from JFK, NY to Stockholm, Sweden | | Climate | Mild temperatures in both winter and summer. Usually 19-36F in the winter, and 68-77F in the summer. It rains year round, and July and August being the wettest months. | | Average temperature | 90F | | SOCIAL | | | Nat. Bird | N/A | | Nat. Flower | Simpor | | Nat. Animal | N/A | | Nat Tree | N/A | | ECONOMICAL | | | GDP | 20.25 billion | | GNP | | | PPP | 53,100 (per capita) | | RPPP | AC | | BOP | AC | | BOT | AC | | N. Budget | N/A | | N. Debt | 4 billion | | Inflation | 0.3% | | Money Unit Name | Brunei dollar | | EXR to $ | 1 Brunei dollar = 100 cent | | Unemployment | 3.7% | | Growth rate | -4.6% | | LEGAL | | | Gift giving | Acceptable | | Bribery -CDB | | | DEMOGRAPHICAL | | | Literacy rate | 93.9% | | RPCI | AC | | PCI | AC | | Male, female ratio | 1.01 ratio male/female | | Life span | Male: 73.32 / Female: 77.83 | | Age | Average age: 41.5 (40.4 for male, 42.6 for females) | | SOCIAL | | | Sports, | Soccer (most popular),Football, Tennis, Polo, Gold, Squash, Bowling, Snooker, Badmiton, Swimming, Aerobics. | | Leisure activities | Culture entertainment, productive-personal growth, outdoor-physical, recreation-expressive, friendship, formal-group | | Communal activities | | | | Rank Order things, one being most to 10 least wherever possible (RO) | | INFORMATIONAL | | | Good websites/ Good links, video | hhttp://www.mapsofworld.com/brunei/tourism/l - great site; includes bits and pieces of every general information you could ever need to know about sweden. | | Good books, films, travel guides | Brunei (Eyewitness Travel Guides)(Turtleback) Dk Publishing - includes great pictures and useful tips and information about areas that should be visited. Also includes prices of hotels, and more! | | | | | COMPETITIVE | | | | | | To ten major imports- Make a Table (MAT) | MachineryTransport EquipmentManufactured goodsFoodChemicals | | Top ten major exports --(MAT) | Crude oilNatural gasGarments | | Top ten trading partners(Countries)-- (MAT) | SingaporeMalaysiaJapanChinaThailandU.SUK | | Top ten MNC in the countries --(MAT) | GermanyDenmarkNorwayNetherlandsU.K.FinlandFranceU.S.ChinaBelgium |

(gross domestic product) numbers represented in billions

(purchasing power parity) numbers represented in billions

Brunei Darussalam
"Brunei - Culture, Etiquette, Customs and Protocol." Translation Services | Interpreters | Intercultural Communication | Cross Cultural Training. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/brunei.html>.
"Brunei Darussalam - Key Information on Brunei - DOING BUSINESS IN BRUNEI." Brunei News Online - Brudirect.com. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.bruneidirecthys.net/about_brunei/doing_business.html>.
"Brunei Forum, Forum Expat Brunei." Expat Blog, the Expatriate Community. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=140>.
"Brunei Imports - Partners - Economy." Index Mundi - Country Facts. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.indexmundi.com/brunei/imports_partners.html>.
"Brunei." OnlineWomen. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.onlinewomeninpolitics.org/brunei/bruneimain.htm>.
"Brunei Social Customs." Asia Travel Guide. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.traveldojo.com/brunei/social-customs/>.
"Brunei Tourism: Great Achievements | Tourism-Review.com." Travel and Tourism News Gateway for Travel Industry Professionals Worldwide | Tourism-Review.com. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.tourism-review.com/article/864-brunei-tourism-great-achievements>.
"Brunei Tourism: Great Achievements | Tourism-Review.com." Travel and Tourism News Gateway for Travel Industry Professionals Worldwide | Tourism-Review.com. Web. 29
Apr. 2010. <http://www.tourism-review.com/article/864-brunei-tourism-great-achievements>.
"Brunei –Tourism." World Map, Map of the World. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.mapsofworld.com/brunei/tourism/>.
Century, The 16th. "Brunei." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei>.
"Report for Selected Countries and Subjects." IMF -- International Monetary Fund Home Page. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=516&s=NGDPD,NGDPDPC,PPPGDP,PPPPC,LP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=37&pr.y=19>.
"UNdata | Country Profile | Brunei Darussalam." UNdata. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Brunei%20Darussalam>.…...

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