A look at Brunei in global rankings
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ ANN) - A number of recently published international studies and surveys covering a variety of fields included Brunei Darussalam in their findings.
It was reported on August 1 that in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018, Brunei Darussalam registered a significant improvement in the Ease of Getting Credit indices under the Market Sophistication Indicator, moving up from 55th place last year to second place globally this year.
Brunei Darussalam also retained its global first position in the Institution Indicator, especially in the cost of redundancy dismissal.
The Index saw Brunei ranked as the ninth most innovative country in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Globally, the country rose from 71st in 2017 to 67th in this year’s ranking.
It was also reported that Brunei fared well in other indicators such as Applied Tariff Rate (fourth place); Political Stability and Safety (sixth place); Graduates in Science and Engineering (eighth place); and Percentage of GDP (ninth place).
In other indices, Brunei ranked as follows: 118th place in Trademarks by Origin; 118th place in Knowledge Impact; 115th place in ICT Service Imports; 111th place in Industrial Designs by Origin; 108th in Domestic Market Scale; and 101st in E-participation.
Switzerland retained its number-one spot in the GII ranking, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.
Another notable study was the Henley Passport Index, which is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. It surveyed a total of 199 different passports against 227 different travel destinations, including countries, territories, and micro-states.
As was reported in June, with its visa-free access to 165 destinations, Brunei Darussalam’s passport was ranked 18th globally – rising four places compared to an earlier survey in February.
Regionally, Brunei Darussalam is third in Southeast Asia after Singapore which shares the second spot with Germany globally with visa-free access to 188 countries and Malaysia which is ninth globally with visa-free access to 180 countries.
Also published in June was an annual cost of living report produced by consultancy firm Mercer. In the report, Bandar Seri Begawan was ranked as the world’s 106th most expensive city for expatriates, improving from 100th the previous year.
The survey found that four of the world’s five most expensive cities for expats are in Asia, while just one is in Europe. Hong Kong took the top spot as most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Tokyo in second and Zurich and third, while Singapore was fourth and Seoul was fifth.
Over 375 cities throughout the world were included in the survey, with this year’s ranking covering 209 cities across five continents and measured the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location. These items included housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Another recent survey was the Economic Intelligence Unit’s 2018 ranking of the world’s most liveable cities, in which Bandar Seri Begawan ranked 101st. It was also 101st in 2016 and 2015, and was in 100th place last year.
As was reported on August 18, the annual survey identifies the best cities to live and work in, and according to the survey, BSB’s ‘Bandar ku Ceria’ initiative has made the city centre a location for recreational activities every Sunday morning and helped turn it into a vibrant city, creating an image that BSB is a friendly and liveable city and capable of attracting more visitors.
The survey report highlighted the importance of keeping the city clean, saying that it is the best way to raise its status. Everyone, including owners of commercial premises, shops and business stalls, has a responsibility to ensure cleanliness in their areas.
Meanwhile, according to a report by UK-based wireless technology company Open Signal, Brunei Darussalam has the eighth fastest 4G network in the Asia-Pacific, with 17.48Mbps speed.
The report, which compares 4G performance across 88 countries worldwide, found that Singapore has the fastest 4G network followed by South Korea, Australia and New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific. Singapore is also the fastest 4G country in the world.