Bahrain ranked top in foreign direct investment
Manama, September 25, 2008
Bahrain has been ranked number one in the GCC, and 12th globally, for its inward foreign direct investment performance.
The accolade for the kingdom came from the World Investment Report 2008 released on Wednesday at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, said a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The World Investment Report ranks countries by the foreign direct investment they receive relative to their economic size.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) and MENA OECD Investment Centre on Wednesday hosted the regional launch of the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2008 titled Transnational Corporations and the Infrastructure Challenge which is published annually to analyse foreign direct investments (FDI) in across the globe.
The report showed that Bahrain attracted $1.756 billion in FDI last year and the kingdom was ranked second in the Gulf and ninth globally in the outward FDI performance index.
The index is based on factors such as ease of conducting business and the improvement of infrastructure in a country.
'This report reflects the great strides Bahrain has made towards modernising and liberalising our economy, with substantial investment in creating sustainable industries and economic activities such as the automotive, telecoms and financial services sectors,' said EDB chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa.
'Bahrain is proud of its record as a leading destination for business and finance. It is the gateway to the Middle East and we will continue to forge a diverse, vibrant economy fully equipped for the demands of the world economy in the 21st century.'
The level of foreign direct investment flowing into all six GCC states increased by 30 per cent last year from the previous year at $43 billion, with Saudi Arabia receiving the biggest chunk of about $24 billion.
Over the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, FDI increased by 12 per cent to $71 billion, even though Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen saw a drop in this figure by 20 per cent to $6.4 billion.
The World Investment Report also highlighted the increase in local investment which is growing more rapidly than foreign investment as countries wisely utilise surplus oil revenues to develop and improve their economies. - TradeArabia News Service