Investments in Bahrain 'may top $45 billion'
Manama, January 2, 2013
The volume of overall investment is expected to top $45 billion over five years in Bahrain, a top businessman said.
Citing figures released in the Unified Arab Economic Report, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Dr Essam Fakhro said that public sector investments are expected to average 40 per cent between 2013 and 2017, according to a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Private sector and foreign investments are predicted to make up the rest.
"These reassuring indices represent a vote of confidence for the investment environment in all sectors," Dr Fakhro said.
He said industries, higher education, training institutes, and health and financial services are the key sectors that will attract investment.
The next five years also augur well for transport, logistics services, information technology, family tourism, aluminium byproducts and project management, Dr Fakhro said.
He hoped all sectors would be revitalised this year, and promised that the chamber will play a bigger role in strengthening Bahrain's trade and economy.
The private sector managed last year to emerge from the state of stagnation which hit the national economy in the aftermath of the 2011 unrest, he added.
He credited this to government-funded projects and plans that revitalised the national economy.
He paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad, HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Economic Development Board Chairman, for supporting the private sector.
He commended the freeze on fees, and the drive to promote partnership with the private sector with regard to government projects and tenders.
He stressed the importance of engaging the private sector in decision-making process and supporting national companies, which alleviated the repercussions of the unrest.
"This adopted policy of engagement will play a positive role in boosting the national economy this year," he said, pledging to provide every help for the trade community.
He voiced optimism in the capacity of the national economy to pursue its growth momentum and improve its performance, for Bahrain to preserve its reputation as an attractive destination and maintain its financial hub status.
Last year, Bahrain braved all challenges and was ranked ninth among Arab and West Asian countries on the index of foreign investments.
Investment funds grew by 2.2 per cent in first quarter of 2012, in comparison with the same period the year before.
Bahrain was also ranked first in the Economic Freedom Index in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and the seventh internationally, according to the Fraser Institute Report 2012.
It featured among seven Arab countries which attracted an overall 82pc of the pan-Arab investments over the last 15 years.
A total 1,053 companies registered at the Bahrain Investors' Centre over first three quarters of last year, pumping BD80 million ($210.71 million) into the national economy.
The accumulated industrial investments grew from 2007 to end of December 2011 to average $4 billion.
Bahrain ranked fourth among all Arab countries on the index of non-direct foreign investments, reporting $11.4 billion at the end of 2011. – TradeArabia News Service