Bahrain nets $300m investments in 2011
Manama, January 30, 2012
Despite the global economic crisis and the challenging period for Bahrain, the Kingdom had attracted investments worth $300 million in 2011, according to data released by the country's economic development board.
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said the Kingdom continued to secure significant foreign investment throughout the year, with a significant number of businesses setting up in the country through its direct outreach activities.
Last year saw the EDB attract nearly twenty international businesses from around the globe and bring approximately $300 million of investments into the country, whilst the number of financial services businesses with Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) licenses rose from 401 to 414.
Furthermore, the Kingdom’s economy grew approximately 2 per cent last year, despite the global economic and regional challenges, and is forecast to expand at around 4 per cent in 2012.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the EDB said: “The large number of international investments, from India through Europe to the US, in to Bahrain over the last year demonstrates that the Kingdom’s wide-ranging attractions to foreign investors remain as compelling as ever; from the most skilled workforce in the region and liberal business environment to the low costs, competitive taxation and ready access to large global markets, including the trillion dollar Gulf market.'
“The EDB in Bahrain, and at our offices around the world, in close co-operation with our key partners across Government and the private sector, will be working as hard as ever to deliver further such opportunities for Bahrain in 2012; sustaining economic growth and job creation in the Kingdom for the long term,” he added.
According to the companies that have set up in the Kingdom, the reasons provided for the decision to invest in Bahrain during 2011 included:
*The unique and compelling proposition for international investors seeking a base in the GCC for international export
*The value of basing operations in the Kingdom, including the duty free access to the GCC region and the US
*The offer of a highly skilled workforce and a low cost base proved highly persuasive
*The active support provided by the EDB throughout the process
The Kingdom’s favourable business conditions were further endorsed by the recently released 2012 Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation, in which the Kingdom was ranked first in the Mena region, and 12th worldwide, in recognition of Bahrain’s strong economic fundamentals.
The prime foreign investments during the last year include:
*German chemicals giant BASF which has announced its largest investment in the Middle East. The company will set up its giant plant with an annual capacity of 16,000 metric tons at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP).
*DLA Piper - The world's largest global law firm, with 4,200 lawyers in 30 countries and 76 offices decided to further expand its operations in Bahrain by opening a full-service office in early 2011, making it the only international law firm with offices in every GCC country.
*Enerflex – A leading oil and gas services company headquartered in the US and with operations in Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East has set up an office in the Kingdom following the award of a service contract with Tatweer Petroleum.
*JBF Industries - The Mumbai-based company is investing $200 to set up a new plastics factory to produce polyester film used in the manufacturing of electronics, food and packaging materials, and create 300 new jobs for the Kingdom.
*RMA - Once complete, the new 6,000 sq metre RMA plant will manufacture Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) traps and tee pipe fittings for the oil and gas sector.
*Swinton - A leading global supplier of Oil and Gas Flow Metering Computer / Control System Solutions and Services, has established operations in Bahrain to service the Middle East, and particularly Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.
UTC – A leading provider of fire safety and security solutions to more than 1 million customers worldwide on an annual basis is setting up a state-of-the-art training centre in Bahrain on 6,000 sq ft land in Bahrain.
There has been further success in 2012, with AeroThrust Gulf Aviation Services announcing the establishment of a $20 million aircraft engine Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Bahrain, said the EDB.-TradeArabia News Service