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Invest with ease in streamlined business friendly Bahrain

Bahrain’s government works closely with businesses and regulators to explore opportunities to enhance Bahrain’s business environment and nurture optimum commercial conditions. This collaboration has seen Bahrain take solid steps towards introducing initiatives that create an enabling and innovative ecosystem, which allows businesses to thrive.

227%

Year-on-year growth in Commercial Registrations (CR) of both local and foreign businesses. (2015-2016)

Simplifying incorporation

Liberalised business activities

Bahrain has allowed 100% foreign ownership for most activities, and is the only GCC state to permit freedom across all sectors and in which the entire country is effectively a free zone.

A competitve base in the GCCC

Abolition of minimum capital requirements

Bahrain has reduced minimum capital requirements, which resulted in lower costs and made it easier to set-up and operate businesses in the Bahrain.

Our business environment

Online business registration

Sijilat is an online business registration portal that offers businesses a seamless set-up experience with streamlined licensing procedures and reduced registration times.

Set up now

Advancing connectivity

Multiple new infrastructure and policy developments, in addition to a constant monitoring and improvement of existing infrastructure and procedures, are greatly improving Bahrain’s connectedness.

Dedicated 24-hour customs clearance and account managers at Bahrain Logistics Zone have made it a superior regional hub with an over 80% occupancy rate. Streamlining of procedures has supplemented infrastructure developments at King Fahd Causeway, where an additional causeway is under talks to connect Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. Khalifa Bin Salman Port, since its recent IPO, has been welcoming some of the largest container ships in the region to connect to Bahrain’s multimodal hub.

Ongoing reforms result in fastest customs clearance in the GCC

  • <60 min

    truck turnaround time at Khalifa Bin Salman Port

  • <3 hrs

    Container clearance time

  • <24 hrs

    Customs clearance at King Fahd Causeway

  • Fastest

    Port in the GCC: Khalifa Bin Salman Port

Instituting openness

Reductions in visa fees and the simplification of application procedures have greatly reduced burdens on companies looking to hire foreign nationals, and have driven a surge in the numbers of visitors to Bahrain.

80% lower visa fees

This significant reduction makes Bahrain more accessible.

  • 12.2mn visitors

    to Bahrain in 2016

Due to new immigration policies, there has been a 6% year-on-year growth in visitors and strong future trend indicators.

E-visas for tourists

114 nationalities are now eligible for e-visa applications.

  • Investment visas

    launched in Bahrain

Granted to investors with a Temporary Commercial Registration Certificate, allowing for 90 day visits through an online application.

Improving financial access

Bahrain is the first in the region to implement new financial services laws concerning Trusts, Invested Limited Partnerships, and Protected Cell Companies, aimed to introduce more flexible funding structures.

Trusts law

The Trusts Law creates a legal framework for the creation of a trust and its liabilities, and allows the establishment of trusts for charitable and non-charitable purposes, as well as ‘Purpose Trusts’. It is a limited liability law that supports greater activities within the financial services sector and offers opportunities for expansion.

Protected cell companies law

This law introduces Protected Cell Companies (PCC) in Collective Investment Undertaking, Private Investment Undertaking, Securitisation and Insurance Captives. It strengthens investors’ rights in separating their private assets from the company running their chosen fund and lowers operational costs – allowing investors to set-up and liquidate cells more efficiently.

Investment limited partnership law

Bahrain is the first GCC country to introduce an Investment Limited Partnership Law nationwide, offering investors new financing structures that make it easier to raise capital and establish financial investment funds.

Bahrain Investment Market

The Bahrain Investment Market is an equity for growing business ventures in both Bahrain and the MENA region. It supports companies who are looking to raise capital to fund future growth, such as entrepreneurial ventures and mature family businesses. It offers easier admission and financial disclosure rules, access to global investors, guidance services through advisory firms, and a dedicated Tamkeen support programme.

Innovative initiatives

The EDB and the Government of Bahrain are committed to drawing in the best of the newest wave of entrepreneurs. Bahrain has created multiple initiatives to attract and nurture these businesses, with a focus on creating a startup-centric ecosystem with supportive policies, high availability of business resources, and advanced ICT networks.

FinTech Regulatory Sandbox

Crafted by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as a regulatory and ecosystem framework to enable FinTech businesses to thrive, this virtual space will be open for companies to test innovative new products over the course of 9–12 months and to then deploy them in Bahrain.

The space will be open to all existing CBB licensees and also local and foreign unlicensed companies, helping to create the foundation for a new wave of financial innovation.

Learn more about FinTech in Bahrain

StartUp Bahrain

Fast becoming known as Silicon Island, Bahrain has the best ICT infrastructure and penetration in the GCC, supportive visa policies, an empowered and talented local workforce, and the lowest operating costs in the region.

Combined with innovative new regulatory frameworks such as the FinTech regulatory sandbox, the Kingdom is building on its established success of attracting the latest startups into its thriving ecosystem.

Read more about startups in Bahrain

A commitment to Bahrain’s future growth

A future that’s more profitable for you

Thanks to Bahrain’s long-term economic vision, a deliberate blend of prudence and imagination has created sustained, controlled growth with low inflation and price stability.

Learn about the Economic Vision 2030

Embracing an outlook of opportunity

National development rests on the guiding principles of sustainability, competitiveness, and fairness. The National Development Strategy is Bahrain’s action-plan making this into a reality.

Read the National Development Strategy

Arab Oil Exporters (Source: International Monetary Fund)

Arab Oil Exporters (Source: International Monetary Fund)

The smart approach to diversity

As the first Gulf state to move away from dependence on oil, Bahrain has become the region’s most diversified economy. In particular, our country has become the region’s leading financial centre since the 1980s.

A clear roadmap for quality and prosperity

Bahrain has established itself as a regional pioneer: with demonstrated commitment towards creating the conditions for business to flourish, a long history of diversification, a progressive outlook for the future.

Bahrain is an innovation hub that has established itself as a highly diversified economy

Learn more about our innovative sectors

A few highlights of EDB-backed diversification policies and initiatives

2000

Empowering trade policies and practices

One of the first actions taken by the EDB was to reduce customs duties in order to support the economic exchange between Bahrain and key trade partners.

2001

Liberalisation of the telecommunications sector

Bahrain’s ICT sector is now one of the most competitive and dynamic clusters in the region. Revenues grew at a compound annual growth rate of 41.5% between 2003 and 2012.

2003

Supervising all tendering related to the public sector

The Bahrain Tender Board ensures transparency, fairness and equal opportunities across all public sector and government transactions.

2006

Managing non-oil assets to increase diversity of revenues

The Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company was established to boost the efficiency with which Bahrain’s non-oil national wealth is administered.

Bahrain concentrates on sectors that flow from our natural advantages

If you operate in the following sectors of focus, we offer clear opportunities to outperform your competitors, just like the major companies who already operate here.

Financial services

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 Manufacturing

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 Logistics

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Tourism & leisure

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 ICT

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Startups

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