Bahrain's new industrial city 'a game-changer'
Manama, June 24, 2014
A proposed new Economic and Industrial City will be a game-changer and along with a $1.5 billion Exhibition City create a new paradigm for Bahrain's development, said a top minister.
According to Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro, while the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) Industry in Bahrain continues to do well, more needs to be done through public-private partnerships for attracting inward investment, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The minister was speaking during the opening session of the "Investment opportunities and real estate from around the world in Bahrain" Conference at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa yesterday.
The two-day event is organised by Al Dana and Ferguson Partners.
Inviting attendees to look at "investments that abound in Bahrain", Dr Fakhro said the kingdom offered foreign investors a whole spectrum of industry and commerce opportunities and not just investment in property.
"The ministry's own annual Invest in Bahrain event is so well attended with a large number of participants from across the region and indeed from other parts of the world," he said.
"Bahrain simply has so much to offer; and I say that not only for the investment opportunities that exist in the domestic economy, but for using Bahrain as a gateway for investment in the GCC and the greater Mena region," he stated.
The minister said that among the advantages that Bahrain had making it enticing for discerning foreign investors was the quality of its labour force.
"When combined with the country's strategic geographic position and its excellent communication and political links with its neighbours and internationally, plus the excellent cosmopolitan lifestyle, it is an unbeatable formula.
"Our Free Trade Agreement with the US is also an important pull-factor for those investors looking to take advantage of the agreement to export to the US from a manufacturing facility in Bahrain," Dr Fakhro said.
Affirming that Bahrain had become the most mature, well-established business hub in the Gulf, the minister said the kingdom provided the most free, open, liberal, transparent environment for businesses and communities, and maintained its position as a globally competitive base for business thanks to its focus on sustainability, skills, and good governance.
"We have the lowest inflation rate in the region, the lowest business costs, one of the highest business friendly ratings in the world; an unemployment rate at less than 5 per cent, a GDP per capita of around $28,000, an economy predicted to grow at about 5 per cent this year," remarked Dr Fakhro.
"We have done all of this without resorting to taxation, at the same time providing our people with free education, health and housing - and we will continue to improve every facet of the economic, social and political environment in Bahrain for all residents - and for you the investors to whom we offer our warmest welcome," he added.-TradeArabia News Service