In 1850, the United States and Brunei concluded a Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, which remains in force. In 1984, Brunei became a fully independent state following a century of partial autonomy under the United Kingdom. The United States opened an embassy in Brunei upon the country's independence. A memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation was signed in 1994. Brunei's armed forces engage in joint exercises, training programs, and other military cooperation with the United States. Bruneian military personnel have attended U.S. military academies.
The two countries work closely together on a bilateral and regional agenda to tackle some of the most pressing issues. They also have partnered to increase English language instruction in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, promote commercial interests, and expand educational opportunities and people-to-people connections. The U.S. shares Brunei’s commitment to the environment and supports the Heart of Borneo rainforest conservation initiative.
U.S. Assistance to Brunei
The United States provides no foreign assistance to Brunei.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Brunei encourages foreign investment in the domestic economy through various incentives, marketing the country as an opportunity for investors in new industries and economic activities, although oil and gas and government spending still account for most of its economic activity. Brunei's non-petroleum industries include agriculture, forestry, fishing, aquaculture, and banking. U.S. firms are consulting on aquaculture projects. The United States was the third-largest supplier of imports to Brunei in 2009. Brunei's garment-for-export industry has been shrinking since the United States eliminated its garment quota system at the end of 2004. However, with 75% of total garment exports valued at $66 million, the United States remains the largest export market for garments.
Brunei's Membership in International Organizations
Brunei gives its ASEAN membership the highest priority in its foreign relations. Brunei and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Brunei maintains an embassy in the United States at 3520 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel. 202-237-1838.
More information about Brunei is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Brunei Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Brunei Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page