It is a small island of 92 sq. km and lies around 10 km toward southwest of Sabah. By air, it is 30 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and slightly over two hours from Kuala Lumpur. It has a population of about 78,000 made up of Malay Brunei and Kadayan, Chinese, KadazanDusun and foreign nationals e.g. Filipinos and Indonesians and few expats.
Labuan is home to Malaysia’s only deep-water port and shares the same time zone as many major Asian cities, offering convenience for business dealings throughout the region. The oil and gas industries and construction sectors are the main drivers of the island’s economy. Petronas has a large methanol plant and is now building an even bigger one. We were told that once the second one is completed, Labuan would be the third largest producer of methanol in the world. Labuan also possess a gas terminal, a crude oil terminal, a hot briquetted iron plant, a flour and animal feed factory, a reviving shipyard, a sea product processing factory, a ceramic tile factory and a host of local and global oil and gas service support service providers, It has also been identified as a one of the new petrochemical hubs of the country.
Labuan is also home to Offshore Banks, Trust Companies, Insurance Firms and thousands of non-trading Labuan firms. Since 1990, Labuan was known as an International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC) but recently the government had rebranded it which is known as Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC).