More information about Brunei is available on the Brunei page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Brunei Darussalam is a Malay Muslim monarchy located at the heart of Southeast Asia. Although the United States and Brunei concluded their Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in 1850, which is still in effect, the current era of U.S.-Brunei relations began in 1984 when Brunei became fully independent from the United Kingdom, and the United States and Brunei established diplomatic relations. A memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation was signed in 1994. In 2011, Brunei and the United States held an inaugural Senior Officials Dialogue, creating a new forum for high-level coordination and communication.
The two countries work closely together on a bilateral and regional agenda to tackle some of the most pressing issues. The contemporary U.S.-Brunei relationship is strong, bolstered by the intensive and productive bilateral engagement in 2013, when Brunei provided solid leadership for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the 2013 ASEAN Chair. This strong cooperation based on common regional priorities continues through to Brunei’s 2021 ASEAN Chairmanship. Brunei’s armed forces engage in joint exercises, training programs, and other military cooperation with the United States, with the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise at the core of the bilateral defense relationship. Bruneian military personnel have attended U.S. military academies and U.S. military students have attended the Brunei Command and Staff Course. The U.S. Embassy in Brunei Darussalam maintains a robust network of more than 300 Bruneian alumni of U.S. government exchange programs and has worked with Bruneian civil society to promote greater mutual understanding and deeper people-to-people ties between the two nations. The United States and Brunei share a commitment to protecting the environment, and in 2013 Brunei became the first nation in the world to ban all trade relating to sharks.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. firms work in the energy, consulting, and financial services sectors, and U.S. franchises and brands are opening and thriving in Brunei. Trade between the United States and Brunei in 2020 totaled $262 million. Aircraft procured by Brunei from the United States in recent years include Sikorsky Black Hawk S70i helicopters and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Low oil prices have challenged Brunei’s hydrocarbon-dependent economy since 2014, leading the country to actively seek foreign direct investment that will diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on the oil and gas sector. Brunei has developed various incentives for new industries and economic activities in order to create a more attractive marketplace for investors. Brunei’s non-petroleum industries include manufacturing, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and services. Brunei was a member of the P4, the four founding members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP), is a signatory of its successor Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and is also a signatory of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
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 and forums including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Brunei maintains an embassy in the United States at 3520 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel. 202-237-1838.
You can learn more from the Embassy webpage at https://bn.usembassy.gov/ or by following the Embassy on social media including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (USEmbassyBSB).
More information about Brunei is available from the Department of State and other online sources, some of which are listed here: