Brunei - Country Commercial Guide
eCommerce

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.

Last published date: 2021-09-26

Although Brunei is ranked with the highest internet penetration in Southeast Asia (95.3 percent, 2020), the e-commerce industry is still in its infancy.  In 2019, the government established a Digital Economy Council to explore the potential of the digital economy industry. The Ministry of Transport and Info-communications published the country’s first Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 (http://www.mtic.gov.bn/de2025/de2025.aspx), which outlines the strategic plans and key projects towards developing a Smart Nation.

 Assessment of Current Buyer Behavior in Market

According to an e-commerce survey conducted by AITI, 76% of Bruneians use e-commerce to shop, bank, and pay bills.  Approximately 57% of online shoppers preferred to shop via shopping websites, while 24 percent preferred to shop via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The top purchases online were apparel and travel services.

Local eCommerce Sales Rules & Regulations

In 2000, Brunei enacted a commercial code for electronic transactions. The Electronic Transactions Act (Chapter 196) is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Commerce and the Singapore Electronic Transactions Act. The Singapore Act draws heavily from the U.S. Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and aims to encourage business and consumer confidence in e-commerce and provide legal protection for both the buyer and seller. AITI’s E-Business and Market Creation Unit is responsible for promoting e-business opportunities under the country’s 2000 Electric Transactions Order.

Various government agencies have undertaken many initiatives to promote the use of e-commerce. These include enforcement of consumer protection laws by the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics, surveys on consumer attitudes and behaviors towards e-commerce by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI), provision of secure server facilities by the E-Government National Centre (EGNC), and the issuance of Fintech Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines by the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank. .

Local eCommerce Business Service Provider Ecosystem

AITI has established eKadaiBrunei, (http://www.ekadaibrunei.bn/) a local online directory that lists e-commerce delivery and logistics companies. Some online platforms in Brunei are integrated with online payment capabilities and delivery services. AITI holds an annual Cybershop Fair to showcase the products and services of local e-commerce businesses. Brunei’s central bank published a Digital Payment Roadmap for the development of the digital payment ecosystem.