A KPMG report on ‘The Cost of Doing Business in the GCC’ in the ICT sector has found that Bahrain has the most liberalised and competitive IT sector in the region. It also leads on most indicators for cost of doing business in the GCC region – a market worth $1.5tr. Crucially, Bahrain has the lowest costs for cross-border internet connectivity – the average annual cost of operations in Bahrain is $126,000.
Commercial rental costs for office space in Bahrain are lower, compared to other GCC countries – $43,800 for Bahrain, compared to an average of $86,480 for the GCC. Overall utility costs in Bahrain are 25 percent lower compared to the GCC average, while the total average cost of operating in Bahrain for ICT dependent enterprises is 16 percent less than the GCC’s average.
Recent policy reforms have enabled startups to test, innovate and scale quickly, establishing Bahrain as a fast growing, highly-connected business hub with accessibility at its core. Examples include improvements to the regulatory environment, updating the bankruptcy law, introducing the data protection law, adopting a cloud-first policy and reducing the capital requirements for starting a business.
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