By Elsa Baxter
New legislation gives GCC national retailers and wholesale traders equal treatment to their Bahraini counterparts.
New legislation granting equal rights for GCC nationals in the retail and wholesale trade in Bahrain were passed on Tuesday, it has been reported.
MPs approved the bill despite fears its introduction would drive more local Bahraini traders out of business as they struggle to compete against bigger GCC businesses.
According to a report in Gulf Daily News, MPs raised concerns that local merchants would not be able to compete with GCC nationals who buy larger quantities of items at cheaper prices.
They demanded restrictions be included in the bill to ensure local interests are protected after a plea by the parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani that rejecting the bill would destroy GCC support for the kingdom.
Meanwhile, MPs also approved Bahrain joining the GCC single currency alongside Kuwait, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the paper reported. The UAE opted out in May, dealing a blow to the project, three years after Oman did the same.