Brunei joins ASEAN

January 7, 1984 – Brunei becomes the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Officially the country is known as “Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace”.  It is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei’s population was 408,786 in July 2012.

Economic growth during the 1990s and 2000s, with the GDP increasing 56% from 1999 to 2008, transformed Brunei into an industrialized country. It has developed wealth from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields. Brunei has the second-highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asia nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a “developed country”.  According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brunei is ranked fifth in the world by gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity. The IMF estimated, in 2011, that Brunei was one of two countries (the other being Libya) with a public debt at 0% of the national GDP. Forbes magazine also ranks Brunei as the fifth-richest nation out of 182, based on its petroleum and natural gas fields.

In 1984, the Brunei Postal Services Department issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate the country’s membership in ASEAN.

brunei - ASEAN countries issue - 1984

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