Bahrain FDI surges 12pc to $114 million
Manama, February 25, 2014
Bahrain attracted $114 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, a 12 per cent increase on the level of investment secured in 2012, said the kingdom’s Economic Development Board (EDB).
A total of 35 international companies set up operations in the kingdom last year as a result of direct outreach activities carried out by the board, the EDB added, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
This was in line with EDB's role and efforts to promote Bahrain's business environment and to attract FDI to the kingdom. The investment mainly came from countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
It will help in creating more than 800 jobs in the kingdom over the course of three years across a range of sectors, including financial and professional services, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and ICT.
"We are delighted so many international businesses have chosen to locate their Middle East operations in Bahrain where they will enjoy competitive taxation, clear regulation, the most highly skilled workforce in the region and unrivalled access to the fast growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market," EDB business development executive director Vivian Jamal.
"Growth in the private sector is imperative to the continued diversification of Bahrain's economy. Foreign investment is a key driver of growth and is providing more and better jobs for Bahrainis.
"Targeting international investors will be a continued focus for the EDB this year, while we continue to support the new companies that have chosen the kingdom,” Jamal added.
Bahrain's favourable business conditions and strong economic fundamentals have been endorsed by the Heritage Foundation's 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the kingdom ranked first in the Mena region.
The report highlights that the kingdom's "transition to greater openness and diversification is based on foundations of economic freedom," and that Bahrain "continues to be a financial hub for dynamic economic activity, with high levels of trade and investment bolstered by a competitive and efficient regulatory environment."
Last year, the Fraser Institute's annual Economic Freedom of the World Index ranked Bahrain as the eighth freest economy globally.
Foreign companies that set up base include Kintetsu World Express, Chinamex, S1 AJM, Takaud, Julius Baer and Cigna Saico. – TradeArabia News Service