Bahrain provides exceptional opportunities for international businesses considering a Middle East manufacturing hub in order to tap into the fast-growing $1.6 trillion Gulf market. We offer a large, educated and skilled local workforce; there is no need to recruit from elsewhere.
The Kingdom is strategically located at the heart of the Gulf with quick, efficient access to every market in the Middle East by road, air and sea. Infrastructure is excellent and developing at speed, with superb logistics facilities and links to near neighbours in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).
We continue to attract investment from major manufacturing companies across industries including downstream aluminium and steel, food and beverages, plastics and chemicals. Indeed, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum ranks Bahrain sixth globally for inward investment on a per capita basis, with investment increasing 12% 2012-131.
All of these factors have helped Bahrain’s manufacturing sector to grow by 80% in the last five years, and to be on track to account for over 20% of GDP within a decade.
Five further factors make Bahrain highly persuasive:
● The cost of setting up and running industrial facilities here is more than competitive – it’s low.
● In effect, the whole of Bahrain is a ‘free zone’, allowing 100% foreign ownership of business and real estate. This allows investors free movement of capital, profits and dividends.
● Bahrain allows duty free access of manufactured goods to the GCC, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) and the USA (through the USBahrain Free Trade Agreement).
● Such openness is matched by one of the world’s most favourable tax regimes with no corporate or personal taxes, very few indirect taxes and a relatively low cost of living.
● Finally, Bahrain is recognised as making it easy to do business2.
Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP):
At around 2,500,000 m2, BIIP has been developed by the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The park is easily accessible from the Bahrain International Airport, the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Hidd and Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway.
During 2013, 30 new projects were approved – 80% in manufacturing. By the end of 2013, BIIP employed over 3,000 people. In February 2014, it announced that investment had reached $1.82 billion. At the end of April 2014, 58 companies were in production, versus 43 in 2012 and 31 in 2011.
Manufacturing companies in BIIP include:
|Mondelēz (formerly Kraft Foods)
||Cheese & powdered beverages|
||Components for oil and gas|
||E-CR glass fibre|
|Banawi Industrial Group
||Chemicals, packaging and food flavours|
|RMA Middle East
||Steel pipeline equipment|
||Polyester films & chips|
||Metallurgical service centre|
|Saudi Arabian Amiantit
||GRP and GRE pipe manufacturing|
1Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bahrain Economic Quarterly, June 2014
2World Bank Group, Doing Business 2014