By Staff writer
Economic Development Board posts growth despite significant regional and global headwinds
Growth of 3.7 percent in the non-oil sector helped to fuel overall economic growth of 3 percent in Bahrain in 2016, according to the latest figures published by the Economic Development Board.
This growth marks an acceleration over the 2.9 percent pace recorded in 2015 and came in spite of significant regional and global headwinds, the EDB said in a statement.
It said the non-oil growth - up from 3.6 percent in 2015 - was driven by strong performances in finance, construction and social and personal services.
The EDB added that this momentum in the non-oil sector was supported by the implementation of "unprecedented levels of infrastructure investment".
In particular, the GCC Development Fund has seen the volume of active projects double from $1.6 billion in Q1 last year to $3.2 billion in February 2017.
Bahrain has a priority programme of $32 billion of infrastructure projects including the $2.5bn Alba Pot Line 6 and the $1.1 billion airport expansion project.
The EDB said it expects that non-oil growth will remain above 3 percent in 2017, despite ongoing regionwide fiscal consolidation.
Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economic advisor to the EDB, said: “2016 was an encouraging year for Bahrain’s economy. We continue to see resilience in the non-oil sector and this resilience helps to underpin the economic stability for businesses and investors in the kingdom.
“This is important because the economic transformation taking place in the region is creating exciting opportunities for businesses in the Gulf the coming years. We know that it is vital not just to maintain economic stability but also to continue to pursue the structural, legal and regulatory reforms that will make it easier for companies to access those opportunities.”