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Reforms and upgrades make Bahrain yet more attractive

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Bahrain has long been a recognised gateway for the free flow of goods across the Gulf and wider Middle East – with many international companies establishing a regional base here, such as DHL, Aramex, UPS and Agility.
Our location, which provides unrivalled market access, and our investment in integrated transport and logistics infrastructure, have frequently proven decisive.
 
New market liberalisation
 
The Kingdom’s liberal commercial environment, with its status as a single free zone, is a magnet for exporters. Now, through a series of major reforms, namely the liberalisation of business activities, foreign investors can enjoy either full or partial ownership of certain transport and logistics business activities that were previously restricted.
 
Through these reforms, Bahrain will serve as a regional distribution hub allowing international companies to take advantage of key export opportunities to Saudi Arabia and other valuable GCC markets, while maintaining 100% foreign ownership.  This initiative will also be open to industrial service centres for the regional distribution of spare parts, as well as the maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment.
Moreover, foreign investors will now be allowed to have a 49% stake in shipping agencies, air freight agencies and sea freight agencies.
 
Infrastructure improvements
 
Work is going ahead to expedite the transport of goods and to reduce border waiting times – primarily via streamlined customs procedures and IT systems. This is in line with Bahrain’s commitment towards continuously modernising and streamlining its customs procedures to ensure adherence to international standards.
 
Performance of the King Fahd Causeway to Saudi Arabia improved significantly towards the end of 2015, despite record traveller numbers – over 105,000 people used the Causeway in a single day in October 2015.  The final quarter of 2015 also saw a steady increase in cargo volumes, with over 1,000 trucks crossing the border on a daily basis.