Brunei

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BRUNEI is a sultanate located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo in the southeast Asia. It is bounded on all sides by the Malaysian state of Sarawak which splits the country into two separate parts. Broad tidal swamplands cover the coastal plains and inland Brunei is hilly and covered with tropical rainforests.

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The climate is hot and moist with plenty of rainfall all year but especially during the monsoon months of October to March. Political power in the sultanate (formerly a British Protected State until independence declared in 1984) resides in the person of the Sultan of Brunei who is believed to be one of the top three most wealthy men in the world.

The main crops grown are rice, vegetables, and fruit but economically the country depends on its oil industry, which employs 7 percent of the working population. Oil production began in the 1920s, and now oil and natural gas account for almost all exports. Cloth weaving and metalwork are also small local industries. Other minor products are rubber, pepper, gravel and animal hides.

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