June 24, 2014
Manama: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2014, released today, has shown that total foreign direct investment (FDI) to Bahrain in 2013 was $989 million, an increase of 11% on 2012, outpacing global FDI flows which rose by 9%. This is the second year Bahrain has seen double digit growth in FDI since the global economic downturn and reflects the sustainable private sector led recovery taking place in the Kingdom. According to the World Investment Report FDI to Bahrain in 2012 was $891m, a 14% increase on 2011.
The report also shows that in 2013 Bahrain’s inward FDI stocks as a percentage of gross domestic product (55.3%), FDI inflows as a percentage of nominal GDP (3%), and FDI inflows as a percentage of gross fixed capital formation (15.7%) were the highest in the GCC. This highlights the importance of FDI to Bahrain’s economy and emphasises Bahrain’s position as the one of the most globalised economies in the region with international investors having a high level of integration into the local economy.
H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive, Economic Development Board (EDB), said:
“Foreign investment continues to help boost private sector growth in Bahrain and provide Bahrainis with new high value-added jobs. This is a strong volume of FDI and, importantly for us, it is also smart FDI that creates sustainable growth and long term Bahraini jobs.
“It is a great pleasure to see such confidence in the Kingdom from international businesses, many of which are using Bahrain to locate their regional operations and access the fast growing Gulf market. Given the region’s strong economic fundamentals and the reforms we have put in place to ensure a favourable environment for international investors, we are confident that this trend will continue.”
The EDB, the agency with overall responsibility for attracting inward investment, announced in January that thirty-five international businesses had established operations in the Kingdom in 2013 as a result of its direct outreach activities alone. The businesses, from North America, Europe and Asia, will create more than 800 jobs in Bahrain over the course of three years across a range of sectors, including financial and professional services, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and ICT.
Bahrain’s economy has experienced a consistent and broad-based rebound in economic activity since the start of 2012. In 2012 the non-oil sector expanded by more than 6%, helping the overall economy to grow by 3.4%. This trend continued into 2013 with real GDP growth increasing to 5.3%.
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 13th in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa. The report highlights that the Kingdom’s “transition to greater openness and diversification is 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 the eighth freest economy globally.
For Further information please contact:
Economic Development Board
Tel: +973 17589966