- Bahrain has grown successfully over the past 10 years, due its liberal economic policies, and has a clear roadmap for improving the prosperity of all in society.
- The country’s annual real GDP growth ranged between 2.1% and 8.3% over the period, according to the Central Informatics Organisation.
- Looking to the future, the Economic Vision 2030 is a roadmap for making Bahrain a more sustainable, competitive and fair economy, with the aim of doubling household income by 2030.
- The National Development Strategy is a regularly updated action- plan that will turn the Vision into reality, setting specific milestones in the public and private sectors including education and training, the economy, health and society.
The following sectors have been prioritised for development:
- Financial Services
- Professional & Industrial Services
- Manufacturing (Aluminium, Food & Beverage, Chemicals & Plastics)
BUSINESS IN BAHRAIN
- Bahrain is currently Ranked 1ST Freest economy country in GCC and 18th freest economy in the world. Achieving an overall score of 73.4 in the 2015 index, Bahrain’s economic score is well above the world average. It’s overall above 70 score has placed it, once again, in the ‘mostly free’ category’. This is due to having achieved high scores in the fiscal freedom, labour freedom and financial freedom factors.
- Bahrain was the first country in the region to diversify away from oil and gas 40 years ago. Very early on, we set in motion a series of initiatives to encourage industry sectors which can offer significant investment potential, based on Bahrain’s natural and human resources, global market trends and regional demands.
- We now have an established track record in a number of key sectors, with new sectors developing all the time. These sectors are financial services, manufacturing, business & professional services, information & communication technology and logistics.
ACCESS TO GULF MARKETS
- With access to an economy worth $2 trillion by 2020 * , our position at the heart of the Gulf makes access to every market in the region quick and efficient – by road, air and sea.
- By car, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region’s largest economy and the world’s larg est oil producer, is less than an hour’s drive away via the 25 – Kilometer King Fahad Causeway; and Riyadh, its business hub, is a four hour drive.
- Bahrain is the hub of Gulf Air, which has the largest regional network in the Gulf. From our world – class Bahrain International Airport, there are daily flights to major GCC cities. Kuwait, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat are less than an hour flight time away and Qatar is just 25 – minute flight time away.
- In addition, following the opening of the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in April 2009, Bahrain is becoming a major regional trans – shipment centre. The port is operated by one of the largest post operators in the world: APM Terminals.
Key Investment Sectors in Bahrain
- Over the next 5 to 10 years, the skyline and infrastructure of Bahrain will continue to alter dramatically. Many local and international investors have commissioned and invested in large – scale projects to enhance the Kingdom’s business and lifestyle offering.
- The Bahrain government has planned infrastructure projects worth $4.4 billion in the coming years. Real growth in Bahrain’s construction industry is on track to average 3.6 per cent up to 2018, buoyed by government investment in infrastructure and social housi ng.
- The construction sector in Bahrain currently contributed 10.7% to growth of real GDP in 2014. The sector grew by 7.3% in 2014 from 2013. The growth is mainly attributed to the prioritization of infrastructure and housing projects in the kingdom. Sever al other major construction projects which are currently in the works. Most notably:
Gulf rail line development
Public transport network (due in 2030)
Bahrain International Airport Expansion
Investment in power and water projects
Construction of infrastructure for three planned cities
New state of the art Exhibition Centre
- Bahrain provides exceptional opportunities for international businesses considering a Middle East manufacturing hub in order to tap into the fast – growing $1.6 trillion Gulf market. We offer a large, educated and skilled local workforce; there is no need to recrui t from elsewhere.
- The Kingdom is strategically located at the heart of the Gulf with quick, efficient access to every market in the Middle East by road, air and sea. Infrastructure is excellent and developing at speed, with superb logistics facilities and links to near neighbours in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).
- We continue to attract investment from major manufacturing companies across industries including downstream aluminium and steel, food and beverages, plastics and chemicals. Indeed, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum ranks Bahrain sixth globally for inward investment on a per capita basis, with investment increasing 12% 2012 – 13 1 .
- All of these factors have helped Bahrain’s manufacturing sector to grow by 80% in the last five years, and to be on t rack to account for over 20% of GDP within a decade.
Five further factors make Bahrain highly persuasive:
- The cost of setting up and running industrial facilities here is more than competitive – it’s low.
- In effect, the whole of Bahrain is a ‘free zone’, allowing 100% foreign ownership of business and real estate. This allows investors free movement of capital, profits and dividends.
- Bahrain allows duty free access of manufactured goods to the GCC, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) and the USA (through the US – Bahrain Free Trade Agreement).
- Such openness is matched by one of the world’s most favourable tax regimes with no
corporate or personal taxes, very few indirect taxes and a relatively low cost of living.
- Finally, Bahrain is recognised as making it easy to do business 2 .
Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP):
- At around 2,500,000 m2, BIIP has been developed by the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The park is easily accessible from the Bahrain International Airport, the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Hidd and Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway.
- Durin g 2013, 30 new projects were approved – 80% in manufacturing. By the end of 2013, BIIP employed over 3,000 people. In February 2014, it announced that investment had reached $1.82 billion. At the end of April 2014, 58 companies were in production, versus 4 3 in 2012 and 31 in 2011.
INVEST IN BAHRAIN
- Bahrain has taken substantial measures to enact reforms and create the most open, favourable business conditions to make this possible. Fortunately, by virtue of its strategic location, Bahrain has the advantage of being an ideal gateway to the trillion dollar Gulf market.
- We understand that we have to do what it takes to create the most competitive environment for business.
- Bahrain will always focus its efforts on the building of foundations, ahead of the building of landmarks.
- It is this commitment to building for a better future that Bahrain has come to be the most mature, well – established business hub in the Gulf, providing the most free, open, liberal, transparent environment for businesses and communities. Bahrain has maintained its position as a globally competitive base for business thanks to its focus on sustainability, skills, and good governance
- Bahrain is committed to the rule of law, free markets, and democratic principles; serving th e needs of many; and, above all, ensuring the long – term, future prosperity of its people.
- Bahrain is the gateway to Middle East with the best market access to the growing Gulf economies
- The Middle East’s freest market and the most liberal business environment
- The longest, most mature track record with the most experience
- A great place to live amongst an open and liberal society
- Competitive costs & taxes
- The most educated skilled Gulf workforce