Bahrain's EDB attracts $114m foreign investment in 2013

Bahrain Economic Development Board says 35 international businesses set up operations in kingdom
Bahrain's EDB attracts $114m foreign investment in 2013
Acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Kamal bin Ahmed. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 28 Feb 2014 02:30 AM

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) announced on Monday that 35 international businesses established operations in the kingdom in 2013 as a result of its direct outreach activities.

The EDB said in a statement that it attracted $114 million of foreign investment into the country from North America, Europe and Asia, a 12 percent increase on the level of investment secured in 2012.

It said this boost will help create more than 800 jobs in the kingdom over the course of three years across a range of sectors,including financial and professional services, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and ICT.

Vivian Jamal, executive director – Business Development at the Bahrain EDB said: “We are delighted so many international businesses have chosen to locate their Middle East operations in Bahrain where they will enjoy competitive taxation, clear regulation, the most highly skilled workforce in the region and unrivalled access to the fast growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market.

“Growth in the private sector is imperative to the continued diversification of Bahrain’s economy. Foreign investment is a key driver of growth and is providing more and better jobs for Bahrainis. Targeting international investors will be a continued focus for the EDB in 2014, while we continue to support the new companies that have chosen the kingdom.”

Bahrain’s favourable business conditions and strong economic fundamentals have been endorsed by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the kingdom ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa.

The report highlighted that the kingdom’s “transition to greater openness and diversification" was based on foundations of economic freedom, and that Bahrain “continues to be a financial hub for dynamic economic activity, with high levels of trade and investment bolstered by a competitive and efficient regulatory environment".

In 2013, the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World Index ranked Bahrain as the eighth freest economy globally.

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