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Construction sector 'driving Bahrain's economic growth'

MANAMA, February 10, 2020

The construction industry in Bahrain is likely to play a significant role in tthe country's economic growth in the future, according to a new report by global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The report comes amid Bahrain’s ongoing shift towards a knowledge-based economy against a backdrop of lower oil prices and fiscal reforms.

Marking 15 years of OBG’s operations in the kingdom, The Report: Bahrain 2020 looks in detail at the sectors of the economy that are expected to play a leading role in driving new growth as part of broader diversification efforts.
 
Key among those is the construction industry, which is benefiting from the rollout of several mega-projects for the energy, industry and transport sectors, alongside affordable housing and high-end commercial facilities, stated the report.
 
OBG also charts the performance of Bahrain’s manufacturing industry, which is now the second-largest contributor to non-oil GDP, successfully attracting higher levels of FDI.

The report maps out the growth under way in value-added production, with food and the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment both gaining momentum, it added.
 
Long a major driver of non-oil growth, Bahrain’s banking industry accounts for more than 16% of GDP and has carved a niche as a regional hub.

OBG analyses the measures introduced to ensure it retains its leading position within the GCC, which range from new regulatory reforms to the introduction of financial technologies.
 
Despite the oil and gas sector’s share of GDP falling to 18.1% in mid-2019, the sector continues to play a major role in driving Bahrain’s economy, said the report.

OBG’s report also considers the implications of the major oil and gas find in the Khaleej Al Bahrain basin, which could boost production four-fold.

In addition, it examines the modernisation programme under way at the Sitra refinery, mulling the part it will play in boosting throughput.
 
The Report: Bahrain 2020 contains a viewpoint by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors.
 
It also features a wide range of interviews with other high-profile personalities, including: Bahrain Economic Development Board CEO Khalid Humaidan; National Bank of Bahrain CEO Jean-Christophe Durand; Bahrain Petroleum Company CEO Pete Bartlett; Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) CEO Ali al Baqali and Batelco CEO Mikkel Vinter.
 
Commenting ahead of the launch, OBG’s editor-in-chief Oliver Cornock said that while the oil price crash of 2014 had heightened the need for fiscal reforms, the kingdom was well placed to tap investors for a range of initiatives across the sectors of its economy.
 
"Bahrain benefits from being one of the most diverse economies in the GCC, supported by a well-established financial services industry and robust industrial and manufacturing sectors,” stated Cornock.

“Having taken steps to balance the budget, the kingdom will now be looking to its big-ticket infrastructure projects and attractive investment climate to drive new growth,” he noted.
 
OBG’s managing director (Middle East) Jana Treeck said Bahrain’s diversification drive had also led to a sharper focus on value-added and downstream activities.
 
"The kingdom’s manufacturing sector is proving to be a major draw for investors, with aluminium, petrochemicals and newer segments, such as FMCGs, all earmarked for growth," stated Treeck.

“With FDI levels expected to continue rising, we expect these segments to propel the industry forward and play a key role in job creation,” she added.
 
The Report: Bahrain 2020 marks the culmination of over 12 months of field research by a team of OBG analysts. It has been produced with Zu’bi & Partners, Attorneys & Legal Consultants, and the Bahrain Bourse.-TradeArabia News Service




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