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Bahrain plays to its strengths in sector refocus

Following an in-depth strategic review, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is to concentrate its efforts in attracting inward investment on newly identified sectors. Initially, five sectors will be targeted: financial services, information and communications technology (ICT), transport & logistics, manufacturing and tourism.
 
The objectives of the updated approach are to capitalise on the strength of Bahrain’s regional Gulf market position and resources to boost economic growth, create high-value employment and deliver long-term sustainable development.
 
The EDB has chosen these sectors for several reasons. Each one offers clear points of difference versus regional competitors, is firmly established and thriving, and – equally important – is ‘investor ready’. This means that regulations and frameworks are in place for investors to efficiently and easily set up operations here.
 
Sector by sector, point by point – the competitive advantages:
 
Financial services
  • Recognised as the Gulf’s financial centre for more than 40 years
  • Strong in all sub-sectors – banking, insurance, asset administration & management, Islamic finance
  • Best access to one of the world’s largest concentrations of wealth
  • A skilled, experienced local workforce comprising two-thirds of financial services employees
ICT
  • The Middle East’s most liberalised market, with world-class infrastructure including the first nationwide high-speed 4G network
  • One of the region’s highest mobile and Internet penetration rates
  • Acknowledged as being well advanced in e-government and e-participation
  • Progressive plans that support innovation and technology development
Transport & logistics
  • Strategic location – unrivalled connectivity and proximity for Gulf market access
  • Tightly integrated infrastructure and efficient customs for efficient goods throughput
  • Superb facilities – airport, seaport, dedicated value-added logistics zone, road causeway to Saudi Arabia
  • Significant overall investment in transport and communications
Manufacturing
  • Excellent track record in aluminium and steel production, chemicals and plastics, consumer goods, food and beverages
  • Outstanding facilities, such the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) and Salman Industrial City Project
  • Investment from major companies, from Alba (Aluminium Bahrain) and Mondelēz, to BASF and Siemens
  • Low plant set-up and running costs, including energy
Tourism
  • Rich history and heritage with fascinating archaeological sites dating back thousands of years to the Bronze Age Dilmun area
  • Arts festivals, cafés, shopping malls and souks: a care-free, relaxed culture and lifestyle unique in the Gulf
  • Sports for everyone – from horse-racing and golf, to the Gulf Air Bahrain Formula 1TM Grand Prix
  • Built for families, with water parks, wildlife parks and much more, year-round