Foreign Direct Investment in Bahrain crossed the $1 billion mark at the end of 2015. This is a country driven towards development, supported by initiatives from its government. It has undertaken many reforms in recent years to ensure more favorable conditions and working environment for investors. Its location on the world map gives it the advantage of becoming a hub for the trillion-dollar Gulf market. It was ranked as the fifth-most FDI attractive country in the Middle East by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times. The government's efforts to improve competitiveness within the country have been successful in attracting foreign investors. It is in fact the leader among the Gulf countries in terms of the effectiveness of its FDI strategy. It is the commitment of the country towards a brighter future that makes investing in Bahrain a smart option.
Why Invest in Bahrain?
- Gulf Market: Bahrain has the largest regional network in the Gulf of Persia and the hub of the airlines in the region. It has a world class international airport that operates regular flights to top markets in this region. Qatar is just 25-minutes away, while it takes less than an hour to reach Abu Dhabi and Muscat by air. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, is less than an hour away by road.
- Legal Framework: The nation offers the most business friendly environment in the Gulf region. The population of the country is very skilled and has a very high number of English speaking people, which can be a big asset to global businesses. It also has the most attractive tax regime in the region. It allows 100% ownership of business and real estate in most sectors and has no 'free zone' restrictions.
- Cost Competitive: The cost of running a business in Bahrain is almost 40% lower than that in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The subsidies in the utilities sector mean that electricity and gas are available at lower prices too. The cost of living is also much more reasonable than the other Middle Eastern countries.
Where to Invest?
If you are planning on investing in Bahrain, these are the best sectors for you:
- Manufacturing: The Gulf region as a whole is continuously developing in terms of infrastructure. Bahrain being at the heart of this region, is an ideal base to meet the needs of manufacturing goods companies. You can do duty-free trade, since it is a member of the GCC common market.
- Financial Services: Services like banking and insurance are good investment options in the country. The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is the single regulatory body for all the banking and financial activities in the country.