The Middle East has a sizeable economy with a GDP of USD 1.7 trillion, and is expected to rise in importance as it uses the resources it earned from oil and gas to diversify its economy. The Middle East has a population of approximately 47 million, spread across 2.6 million square kilometers. The Gulf region’s young population is a major driver of medium-term growth, as it will lift consumption in the years ahead. The average per capita GDP is USD 36,000.
In fact, Qatar, one of the countries in the Middle East, has the highest per capita GDP of the world, at USD 93,700. The Middle East controls not only almost 40% of world oil reserves, but also almost 40% of global financial reserves. The Middle East is an important trade partner for not only the US and Europe, but increasingly for Asia as well. The Middle East is also ideally located, with its proximity to Europe as well as Asia. No wonder the Middle East remains a magnet for international investment.
Reasons why InternationalInvestment is flowing to Countries such as Bahrain
1. Diverse Economy
Countries such as Bahrain have a more diverse economy now, thanks to government efforts from 1960 onwards, in the case of Bahrain. Bahrain is a regional hub for Islamic finance and banking in general. It is also a center for professional and technical services, with the many MNCs located in Bahrain. Other vibrant sectors include real estate, consultancy, logistics, manufacturing, aluminum, education, medical care and tourism.
2. Supportive legal framework
a) Bahrain has no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no wealth tax on capital gains, and no withholding tax. There are only a few indirect taxes. In addition, free repatriation of capital, profits and dividends is allowed.
b) The whole of Bahrain is open to business, with no restrictive “free zones”. Bahrain is the only nation in the Gulf offering 100% foreign ownership of business assets and real estate across most sectors.
c) The Bahrain Chamber of Dispute Resolution provides best in class arbitration and dispute resolution facilities.
- Supportive government
The government provides free and valuable assistance to new businesses, helping them to analyze all the aspects of setting up a business. This can range from preparing cost estimates for the business, to formulating a business plan, creating a sales strategy and so on. This support continues even after the business is up and running.