Bahrain fastest growing financial hub
Manama, March 18, 2008
Bahrain is the world's fastest growing financial centre and has soared by 59 points, according to the third edition of The City of London's Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI3).
The report, which lists the top 50 rated financial centres, ranks Bahrain 39th, up three places from the previous edition and ahead of neighbouring Qatar.
Bahrain has overtaken other emerging financial centres, previously ranked higher, such as Mumbai (48th); Beijing (46th) and Johannesburg (41st).
Bahrain is the only Gulf state to have moved up the index in the last six months.
Dubai has slipped two places to 24th and Qatar is down three places to 47th. The ranking is a global vote of confidence, said Economic Development Board chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"Bahrain's rise to prominence in the index reflects both our continued investment in our finance sector and our ability to attract finance business to the kingdom. We are recognised as the most business-friendly and cost-competitive centre in the Gulf," he said.
Factors of competitiveness are grouped into five key areas - people; business environment; market access; infrastructure and general competitiveness.
Bahrain's gross domestic product (GDP), currently stands at BD6 billion ($15.7 billion), to which the financial sector contributes more than 25 per cent, according to Central Bank of Bahrain figures.-TradeArabia News Service