Bahrain economy buoyant as government forecasts 5% growth
Bahrain's economy is in good health with growth expected to exceed 5 per cent this year, said a top government official.
Growth is estimated to have reached 3.9 per cent last year, added Economic Development Board (EDB) acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed told international delegates at the Euromoney Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa yesterday, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.
"Bahrain attracted more than $750 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011 and the EDB helped 40 firms set up operation last year, while bond markets have shown faith in the country's short and long-term economic stability," he said.
"Bahrain is committed to sustaining and strengthening core business fundamentals to underpin the sustainable growth it has achieved over the past decade long into the future.
"At the EDB, our aim is to support the creation of long-term, quality jobs for Bahrainis, and to do that we need smart FDI and to help you to create a lasting presence in Bahrain and in the region, because our success depends on your success. In order to achieve this, Bahrain is committed to sustaining and strengthening its core business fundamentals.
"We know that Bahrain is uniquely positioned as the natural gateway to the GCC. We all know the Gulf is a sizeable economy - the six countries of the GCC now comprise a market worth $1.4 trillion. And it's a market that the Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted will grow to $2 trillion by 2020," he said.
"The GCC is an economic group that is becoming increasingly well-integrated with two fifths of Bahrain's non-oil exports going to the rest of the GCC and the same is true of over half of Oman's non-oil exports, 30 per cent of Saudi Arabia's and around a quarter of UAE's.
"So it's clear that growth in one country in the region, and the success of important economic diversification projects, is increasingly tied to growth elsewhere in the region.
"Using oil wealth to support diversification and infrastructure investment is something we are seeing an increasing amount of whether it's investment in industry, infrastructure or financial and professional services, to name just a few examples."